Tyson Goldsack hopes a frustrating pre-season pays off with a return to the AFL and ultimately Collingwood’s return to the finals.
The tall utility is still several weeks away from a senior recall, following knee surgery last September.
Goldsack only managed 13 senior games last season because of the patella tendon problem.
While he needs another three or four weeks of preparation before playing at any level, Goldsack returned to full training this week.
“It doesn’t sound like much, but from where I’ve come from it’s a good feat and I feel pretty good now,” he said.
“It’s just a focus of making sure it’s fully healed before we start pushing up.
“I just don’t want it to have a relapse and go through it again this year.
“We took our time early days and got it right.”
Goldsack said about a month ago, it felt like he was making no progress in his rehabilitation.
But he has come good and is hopeful the injury is now behind him.
After missing the finals for the last two seasons, expectations are high at Collingwood that they will return to the top eight.
They have a strong list and Goldsack knows he will have to earn a senior recall.
“I’m definitely not a certainty to come straight into the team,” he said.
“We have a great list and the (pre-season) has shown that.
“There’s a lot of depth, particularly in positions where I play.”
At 29, the 2010 premiership player is also becoming impatient.
“I’m growing a bit long in the tooth – I don’t have a lot of time,” he said.
“So this is a year where I’d like to put everything together and have a good, consistent (season), injury free, and play some good footy.
“Collingwood make finals, Collingwood go on to win the premiership – that would be a fairytale, wouldn’t it?”
Goldsack added that not much kept Collingwood out of last year’s top eight.
“We didn’t even fall away, we just lost a few close games and (that) put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to win,” he said.
“When you go out there having to win a game, it’s added pressure you don’t need.
“We missed out on finals collectively by about six goals for the season.
“It’s those close games that we need to start winning.”