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Sliding Doors: round 22

If Mark Evans thinks he can shut down the Ablett debate ... then - AFL,Gold Coast Suns,Gary Ablett,Sliding Doors,column
If Mark Evans thinks he can shut down the Ablett debate ... then

If

you attempt to lure a contracted Bryce Gibbs in the most recent trade period ...

then ... there's no wiggle room in the hypocrisy stakes when you air grievances with other clubs having a dabble at Charlie Cameron.



If

there's ever been a greater buoyancy about a club sitting last on the ladder ...

then ... well, there hasn't been. Fagan's foundations now allow great hope.

If

you want us to keep seeing the glass as half full ...

then ... we're going to need more convincing. It's been a loooong eight weeks.



If

we're in a fortnight where it has been announced the Watson/AFL lineage was coming to an end ...

then ... how good is it that the Daicos one is being resumed.

If

the remaining opponents are the Suns and Dockers ...

then ... Joe Daniher remains a massive chance to snare the Coleman. We'd love to see it happen.

 



If you respond publicly to something with a heavily worded, club-letterhead statement ... then ... that's obviously your right. But you do give the story you want to shoot down a boost of oxygen it otherwise would never have received.



If we remember being mightily impressed with the composure and confidence of an 18-year-old back in 1994 when we first heard him talk as a Brisbane Bears player ... then ... it's no surprise when we hear the same guy talk with such authority, and without fear of ramification, about all the main topics as a coach in 2017. Wish there were more Chris Scotts. 

If Mark Evans thinks he can shut down the Ablett debate ... then ... tell him he's dreamin'.



If you get hit unexpectedly in the windpipe and start coughing ... then ... you don't deserve to be called soft. Rethink your Phil Davis opinions. Also, you might wish to know he spoke to Bulldogs lawyers before the Redpath Tribunal hearing, hoping to assist their ultimately unsuccessful defence.

If things haven't worked out to plan for Jaeger O'Meara and the Hawks in 2017 ... then ... the fact he's been recalled for this round 22 fixture is the most positive building block for 2018 that this club will lay.

If

you saw a pain-stricken Jesse Hogan struggle even to reach the boundary line in round 19 in Hobart in the moments after he cracked his collarbone ...

then ... you're going to struggle even more when you see he's back in the team just three weeks later. Incredible.



If most Roos players have had below-expectation seasons ... then ... Brown, Higgins, Cunnington and Ziebell, with his banged-up body, can hold their heads very high. McDonald has been OK. Tarrant and Thompson have toiled hard. Waite, when he's played, has been good too. But that's about it. 

If

there's been a lot of doom and gloom talk at regular stages of this very strange season ...

then ... we also know that if you said to Kochy and Ken at the start of the year that upon round 22 entry you'll be sitting sixth, a game short of fourth and a game clear of seventh, that they would take that scenario in a heartbeat.



If you look at the official Richmond list ... then ... Chris Yarran's name is still on it. Imagine if he was up and firing entering the finals, which was obviously the plan when the club drafted him at significant cost at the end of 2015. Really glad, though, for him that he has taken a positive step in his drug rehabilitation.

If

you want to sugar coat this season ...

then ... fine, go for it. But we're not sugar coating it. We'll call it as we see it: disappointing.

If the 12-2 scoreline since round six is incredibly impressive ... then ... arguably even more impressive is the 154 percentage which has accompanied that 14-game sequence.

If

this side didn't have Josh Kennedy on its books ...

then ... there would be even less about which to be enthused. Daylight between him and other Eagles on the most-valuable list.



If a normal male broke his arm the way Dale Morris did three weeks ago ... then ... he would've missed three months of football. Morris may not be human, as he's done this a few times before.


And by popular request ...

If

as the finals loom there is no footy operations boss, no integrity boss and now no Jimmy Bartel on the Match Review Panel ...

then

... there's a lot of gaping holes in key posts. Business commitments have taken Bartel away from the MRP. Nearly as big a loss as the other two footy roles, as he was said to have been a refreshing, authoritative, contemporary voice in an area which needed one.

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