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Sliding Doors: Finals, week two

IF it's Out: Bryce Gibbs, and In: Tom Rockliff ... THEN - AFL,Trade,Bryce Gibbs,Carlton Blues,Tom Rockliff,Sliding Doors,column
IF it's Out: Bryce Gibbs, and In: Tom Rockliff ... THEN

If it's the Cats next week in a preliminary final ... then we reckon there won't be any great worries. But if it's the Swans, fear in the build-up might become the greatest impediment to reaching a Grand Final. 

If one club is going to have a proper crack during the trade period ... then it is this one. Money to burn, draft picks to throw around, even the No.1 pick, astute footy people assessing the market. Should be fun.

If it's Out: Gibbs, and In: Rockliff ... then it's a good outcome.

If there's one player we hope can make something of 2018 after a miserable 2017 ... then it is Chris Mayne. Didn't deserve to have his three-year-contracted future beyond here questioned by those on his own side.


the industry talk is to be believed ...

then the Bombers will be big trade players. They need to be. After years of reasons for opposition players to not head this way, the club now appeals favourably. But, rival club officials have loooong memories of negotiation difficulties …


If Nat Fyfe isn’t fully relaxing right now ... then the Dockers need to ensure he is. Without him at full power, then 2018 will be another torrid season.

If the Cats lose against the Swans but then use the trade period to add Ablett and Stringer ... then things won't seem as dire. And even less if they beat Sydney.

If we're hearing right ... then there's a left-field candidate among the Suns coaching shortlist.

If there's one thing we'd really like to see this weekend ... then it is Stevie J bagging six.

If the Hawks haven't made inquiries about Stringer just yet ... then we reckon Graham Wright is picking up the phone about now.


making the finals seemed a sure thing late in the season ... 

then so too does the securing of Jake Lever from the Crows. But we know what happened about the finals thing. 

If there was one contribution the Roos made to the AFL competition this season ... then it was financially haemorrhaging the Tigers in the near future during their unsuccessful, obsessive approach of Dusty.

If we listen to the media commentary of most then we'll concede that in an ideal world, Kochie shuts up after last week's loss to the Eagles. But we won't resile from our strong view that he is entitled to do whatever he wants, and that his public words have regularly benefitted this club by giving it a national relevance and in sharpening up its internal operations. 

If it's the Giants next week ... then it'll be the cause of a restless build-up. If it's the Eagles, then it will be a week of nice sleep. Unless Nic Nat plays.

If the Saints don't land some quality in the trade period ... then we can't see 2018 being any different to the disappointing 2017.

If a corked thigh initially forced Bud to play closer to goal last weekend with telling effect ... then we can see merit this weekend in a fully fit Bud starting and staying closer to goal.

If the talk started to get very loud late this week ... then it will be deafening next week should the Eagles defeat the Giants. Nic Nat to play in a preliminary final against the Tigers. We'd make him a late inclusion for the Giants game.

If some Bulldogs teammates are annoyed with Jake Stringer ... then others are grateful of him for absorbing on their behalf all the negative commentary about certain behaviours and lifestyles. 

And by popular request ...

If the Power-Eagles elimination final proved one thing ... then it was that scores in an AFL match should never, ever, ever again be allowed to remain tied. Extra-time for home and away matches in 2018, please.


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