A CHANGE in luck and a full pre-season is the hope for forgotten Richmond forward Chris Knights, who will face hot competition for a spot in the Tigers' attack next year.
It's been a tough few years for Knights, who has played just five games since he became a Tiger at the end of 2012.
His start was promising, with six goals and an average of over 17 touches across his handful of games at the start of 2013.
But a torn patella tendon in his right knee proved a nastier injury that initially expected, with consistent setbacks that extended into this year derailing his return to the AFL arena.
He managed six VFL games in 2014 after finally getting his knee right, only to break down with a quad injury with a few weeks left.
Now the 28-year-old simply has to put it all behind him and enter 2015 with a renewed mindset and determination to keep his body together.
"He's just got to get back and get fit and just needs a bit of luck," football manager Dan Richardson told AFL.com.au.
"He had a couple of little setbacks with the knee but he's fine now.”
With his accurate left-foot kicking, the former Crow was recruited as a half-forward/midfield option when he opted to leave Adelaide as a free agent.
But while Knights has been injured, there's been an emergence of other players that are in contention to compete for such a role, following the retirement of Jake King.
While Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin successfully spent more time in the forward line this season and are expected to do so again in 2015, there were others who showed promising signs in a similar role.
Nathan Gordon played as a high half forward and kicked 11 goals in 12 games – including two in the elimination final – in his first season at Richmond after being recruited from SANFL team North Adelaide.
Another first-year Tiger in Sam Lloyd played eight games and had no trouble finding the goals with 10 for the year. Lloyd was an emergency for the final.
Then Matt McDonough – who has been on the list since the end of 2012 – was settled across half-forward in the VFL later in the year, after starting the season at the other end in the seniors.
With his kicking ability and solid decision making, McDonough will also be in the frame for more senior opportunities next season, after signing a one-year contract.
Knights is contracted until the end of 2015 and will be intent on having a full summer of training.
"That half forward/goal-kicking spot that we got him for is probably still open for someone to really take a hold of, whether it's him (Knights) or Sam Lloyd or Nathan Gordon," Richardson said.
"Obviously we've been playing the likes of Deledio and Martin across there a bit too.
"There's competition for spots in that role but that's a good thing.