Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan has paid tribute to Archie Thompson after the star forward became the first player to make 150 appearances for the club in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Central Coast Mariners.
Victory dominated the league-leading Mariners in the opening half at Aurora Stadium and took the lead through Argentine playmaker Marcos Flores in the 42nd minute.
But Ange Postecoglou's men were unable to reward Thompson with a win in his milestone match as Central Coast striker Daniel McBreen equalised from the penalty spot with 13 minutes to go.
Milligan said Postecoglou had spoken during the week about Thompson's commitment to Victory since his move from Belgian side Lierse SK in 2005.
"There's a few things you want to be remembered for when you finish your career and one of them is when someone asks you what team you played for you have a very firm answer," Milligan said.
"Archie's been here a long time and he's been outstanding this year.
"I think he's wound the clock back a couple of years. His work ethic on the training field and in games in amazing and he's a great leader in his own way.
"Being the oldest one here now, he shows the young boys what it means to play for Victory and the passion and commitment needed to be a player here."
Milligan said the missed opportunity to take three points against the Mariners was a learning curve for the players.
"Everyone needs to put in and understand that things don't just happen for you, you need to make them happen," he added.
"That's what we did in the first half, our work ethic was excellent.
"We really should have had control after the first half and we let them back into the game.
"But credit to them, they're a champion side and they always find a way to get back into it."
Victory gave up home advantage for what has become an annual fixture in Launceston, but Milligan said the move was not an issue for the players.
"We're very privileged to play on AAMI Park or Etihad (Stadium) week in, week out and we're very lucky in Melbourne to have such good surfaces," he said.
"But coming down here, the pitch at Aurora was unbelievable. It definitely suited our game and I think we showed that in the first half.
"We still had the majority of the support here and it still felt like our home game."