The 31-year-old joined Wellington Phoenix in a preseason camp this week and could know by Sunday whether he has a future with the Kiwi outfit.

He did his case no harm with a spirited performance off the bench in a 2-1 loss against reigning premiers Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday night.

It was his first real hit out since April when he was axed by Heart along with veterans Clint Bolton, Simon Colosimo and team captain Fred.

“I was shocked to be honest with you,” he said of Heart’s decision to cut him loose following their disappointing second-last season finish.

“It wasn’t a fantastic year as a team, and by all means I’m not sitting here and saying I was fantastic, but I actually thought that in terms of the instructions and directions given by the coaching staff I’d done a decent job last year.

“But I guess they’re going in a different direction – I’m not sure what that is but you know, good luck to them, and that’s the way it goes.”

Thompson, a foundation player for the expansion club, said he had no inkling he was bound for the exit door.

“Probably looking back at it now the lack of communication should have given it away,” he said. “Sometimes they say no news is good news but that wasn’t one of those times.”

After notching up 203 A-League games – the most of any player in the comp – he has no intention of hanging up the boots any time soon. Overseas opportunities beckoned, but with his second son born just a month ago, staying closer to home could prove the best option.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is a fan of Thompson’s experience and leadership qualities and sees him used to best effect as an attacking midfielder.

But shackled to defensive duties last season, the player had little opportunity to flex those marauding instincts which have netted him 26 A-League goals.

“Defensive midfield was a new role for me – I’m normally more of an attacking midfielder I guess,” he said of his final season with Heart. “I was learning all about it last year and like I said I thought I’d done a decent job.

“Everyone always asks me does it suck to be able to play a couple of positions. There’s good and bad. If you can’t play a couple of positions you might find yourself on the outer.”

A deal with the Wellington club would reunite him with former Newcastle Jets team-mate and Phoenix skipper, Andrew Durante, who served alongside Thompson in the Hunter’s 2008 championship-winning side. Durante has already been talking up Thompson’s on-field credentials in the press.

For his part Thompson says the 2012/13 wooden spooners, who went into free-fall after a mid-season style change last year, have been transformed under Merrick. He’s only had a few days to judge, but is impressed with the confidence and purpose the team displayed in their away game against the Wanderers.

On Saturday he gets another opportunity to earn a permanent place on the team-sheet when the side takes on the Jets. Whatever happens, the Sydney-born player has no intention of slowing down just yet.

“No one wants to finish on a season like we had last year,” he said.

“The day I come home from training and say to my wife I really didn’t want to be there today is probably when I need to look at it. But I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to play.

“You can’t take anything for granted. Just the opportunity to play football every day is something that I love. I don’t see why I can’t go another four years – that’s the plan.”