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Sliding Doors: round 17

If you keep telling us you are fully committed to coach this club ... then - AFL,column,Sliding Doors
If you keep telling us you are fully committed to coach this club ... then


you're Scott Thompson ...

then ... you're pretty unlucky. Thought he deserved another game after finally getting back into the ones last week.


Schache fires in his return, and Hipwood and McStay also step right up ...

then ... the game against the Tigers will be a lot closer than expected.


he was too proud and too tough to allow a broken jaw and some broken ribs to stop him playing ...

then ... we reckon Cripps right now is hurting more from emotional pain than physical pain after his season-ending broken leg. As tough as they come.


you look at the ins ...

then ... there's not a better recalled trio this round than Howe, Moore and Wells. But the Pies' opponents this week have the second best in Ablett, Hanley and Hall. Bucks' absolute-last dice roll.


you're playing a massive Friday night game and you've opted to "rest" Jobe Watson ...

then ... it's just going to lack something before it even starts.

If after a little recess we are to re-embrace the Ross The Boss stuff ... then ... we're going to need to see an upset win in the derby. And we reckon we will. Mundy a massive in.

If you recall the last time these two teams met in round four ... then ... you'll remember that James Parsons got Luke Hodge in the head with an elbow. Back then, not one Hawk remonstrated. We reckon there might be a belated Hawk response if the same thing happens on Saturday. 

If the obvious focus on the Suns-Pies game has been Eade versus Bucks ... then ... let's look a bit deeper and zoom in on Witts versus Grundy. This game's most important battle.

If you've drawn matches with Hawthorn and Geelong in the past two weeks ... then ... who is prepared to say it is an impossibility to happen a third time in three weeks? Bookmakers are predicting a very close one against the Swans.

If North Melbourne and Brent Harvey needed reminding of how to present to the public the exit of a champion ... then ... Hawthorn offer this week's events around Luke Hodge. All class on every level.


Jesse Hogan understandably struggled in his return last week ...

then ... it won't be any easier having impact against a backline of Lever and Talia. McDonald looms as crucial, again.

If you keep telling us you are fully committed to coach this club ... then ... it is freakish how often you have your name linked to other clubs. It's not all random speculation, Brad. But you know that.


we started our campaign to get Ryder a Virgin Australia AFL All Australian selection back in May ...

then ... we're doubling down now. By a very long way, the most important player on this club's list.

If Trengove did it in round 15 and Nick Riewoldt the following week, both with reasonable effect ... then ... McStay or Hipwood will have the responsibility this weekend of playing against Rance in a manner which seeks to make him fully accountable.


there's one thing we miss since the national draft came into play ...

then ... it's the near-elimination of a schoolkid making an AFL debut. Which is why the Josh Battle story is our highlight of the week. Hope he kicks six.

If you're bed ridden for weeks in March and April and dominating matches by July ... then ... you're very, very special. Isaac Heeney – second only to Bud when it comes to the Swans' most important player.


this indeed is the final western derby played at Subi ...

then ... thanks for the memories. There's plenty, and they're probably still dominated by Dale Kickett going all Jeff Horn in 2000.

Dale Kickett singing the song after a Freo win over West Coast in R21, 2000. Picture: AFL Photos


If Bevo is as driven as we know him to be ... then ... there's still life in this premiership defence. Just.

And by popular request ...


McLeod won the Norm Smith Medal in '98, and he presented it to Rioli in 2015, and Grant won it in '99, and he gave it to JJ last year ...


... it is only right that Hird be given the right to drape it round the neck of this year's winner. We have been as critical as anyone of Hird since 2013, but have zero issue with this. This isn't Hall of Fame induction. Now that is a whole different story.

Follow Damian Barrett on Twitter: @barrettdamian

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs