Thompson Spurns AFL Coaching For Radio Gig

“Bomber” Thompson joining 3AW on big-dollar deal.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Mark Thompson won’t be lightening the mood of any AFL post-game press conferences for the foreseeable future after the former Essendon coach accepted a role with radio station 3AW.

The Fairfax Media-owned broadcaster beat out rival station SEN in what was believed to be a fierce bidding war for the two-time premiership coach.

News Ltd reports Thompson is believed to be joining 3AW’s Thursday night and Monday commentary teams and will also call roughly a dozen Saturday games.

“It’s a team I’m really looking forward to working with,” Thompson said of joining 3AW.

“To be alongside the likes of Leigh Matthews, Cameron Ling, Matthew Lloyd, Tony Shaw, Matthew Richardson and the rest of the crew was really appealing.”

Thompson led the Bombers to a finals birth last season in the absence of the suspended James Hird, but walked out on the club unhappy with his role following Hird’s reinstatement.

The 51-year-old opted not to apply for the open head coaching position at the Gold Coast Suns following the dismissal of Guy McKenna and was left in the lurch when Essendon decided against firing Hird during a tumultuous start to the off-season.

SEN is still in search of a high-profile football figure to replace Michael Voss, who signed with Port Adelaide as an assistant coach this off-season, for its Friday night AFL coverage and popular pre-game show.

Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.