2015 is shaping up to be the year that defines Tyrone Vickery’s future at the Richmond Football Club. At 24 years of age heading into the season, it’s up to Vickery to determine whether or not he is in the tigers best 22.

Vickery had an up and down year in 2014, with a few strong performances early on in the season before being suspended in round 18 and losing his spot in the starting side to Ben Griffiths, a spot Griffiths would hold for the reminder of the year. With Richmond in desperate need for a genuine second tall that can impact the scoreboard week in week out, it’s a chance Vickery has to take to prolong his career in the game.

So far over his career, Vickery’s stats have been decent, without being great. He’s kicked 101 goals in 87 games and averages just under four marks a game. Coaches would be able to live with these numbers for a third tall or maybe a second small forward, but for the second focal point in a forward line, these stats just don’t cut it.

Having been drafted with pick eight back in 2008, Vickery always had potential, but it seems as though it’s taken a lot longer for him to develop than most would have liked. He’s quite capable at taking a contested mark, his stamina would be above average for someone of his height, and he can be quite a deadly set shot.

The main problem for Vickery is his consistency. He has been in and out of the side ever since he’s been in this league, with season game tallies of nine, nine, 12 and 14 for four out of the six years he’s been at Richmond.

Fans have cited his problems to be in the form of a low work ethic and lack of repeat efforts, possibly a reason as to why a bigger bodied, hard working forward like Griffiths was preferred to Vickery down the stretch of last season.

That’s why this season is the most important one yet for Vickery. Richmond is in need of another commanding tall forward who can step up not only in the absence of, but also alongside Jack Riewoldt. Vickery has also worked on his ability to get up the ground over the pre-season and also his ruck ability, which can be a healthy addition to his game in 2015.

While there’s no doubt Tigers fans have seen glimpses of Vickery that they love and know he can produce, it’s his inability to perform like that every week that keeps them doubting. However, with a solid pre-season under his belt and a strong showing in the first few rounds of 2015, Vickery could very well be the new permanent second tall in a side that if all goes right, could make a serious push deep into September.