EVERY time young Magpie Tim Broomhead has looked like establishing himself as a permanent member of Collingwood's best 22 he has been cut down by injury.
There was glandular fever in 2013 that wiped away his first season and then a broken wrist suffered in the 2014 NAB Challenge, with his time on the sidelines extended by having to overcome debilitating shin splints.
To top it off, an undisplaced crack in his left shoulder, sustained against Port Adelaide in round 15 last season, was a frustrating end to a promising year for the 21-year-old.
"When I've managed to get my body healthy I've had opportunities, so I've got to make sure I stay on the field," Broomhead told AFL.com.au.
The slippery midfielder/forward was a full participant in pre-season training up until the Christmas break and is already aiming to build on the 11 games he played in 2015.
After 19 career games in three seasons, Broomhead says his shoulder is now almost back to full strength.
"It's been pretty slow (the recovery). Shoulders are pretty annoying injuries, but it's getting back to normal which is good," he said.
"It's nice to be relatively fit with no injuries – touch wood. Fingers crossed I get through all the pre-season healthy and fit and have a strong year next year."
Broomhead has deliberately pushed the thought of re-injury to the back of his mind.
"It's not something I want to really worry about," he said.
What he is worried about is playing as much senior football as possible alongside close mate and Collingwood's first-choice ruckman Brodie Grundy in 2016.
But, disappointingly, he won't get to play with fellow South Australian Ben Kennedy, who was traded to Melbourne in the off-season.
The trio, selected by the Magpies with picks 18 (Grundy), 19 (Kennedy) and 20 (Broomhead) in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, had formed a close bond during their three years together at the Holden Centre.
The smooth-moving Broomhead landed at the Magpies after playing 10 senior games for Port Adelaide in the SANFL, while he also averaged 15.2 disposals at 77 per cent efficiency for South Australia in a team that included Grundy and Kennedy in that year's Under-18 championships.
The vision in traffic and craftiness around goal – traits that saw him drafted in the first round – have been apparent when Broomhead has taken to the field in the black and white jumper.
That style of play earned him a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in round 11 against Greater Western Sydney last season.
And while Broomhead does not blame Kennedy for leaving, he says it's a shame the South Australian trio won't get a chance to develop their synergy on the field.
"I wasn't too surprised that 'Kenno' left. He'd had a really good season in the VFL and didn't play too much, so I could see it coming," Broomhead said.
"It sounds good in theory (to have the trio stay together) but he's got to do what's best for him."
Broomhead, who is contracted until the end of next season, understands positions up forward and through the midfield will be hotly contested in 2016.
The addition of James Aish (Brisbane Lions), Adam Treloar (Greater Western Sydney) and Jeremy Howe (Melbourne) has made Collingwood a better side, but also has made Broomhead's task of breaking into the senior team on a permanent basis more difficult.
He hopes the lessons he took from the three standout games he put together before injuring his shoulder gives him the upper hand in locking down a spot in Nathan Buckley's side.
"I've always been relatively confident, but once you string a few games together you can trust yourself a bit more. Now I know I can do it," Broomhead said.