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Sliding Doors: Finals, week three

If the Lions really want to keep Rocky ... THEN - AFL,Trade,Tom Rockliff,Brisbane Lions,Sliding Doors,column
If the Lions really want to keep Rocky ... THEN

If the outs in Smith and McGovern are worrying ... then the ins of Sloane and Otten slightly ease that feeling. But only slightly.

If the Lions really want to keep Rocky ... then they're going to have to up their initial offer. Don't think they will. Blues looming larger by the minute, Port Adelaide still in the mix

If the final ladder positions in the past four seasons read 16th, 14th, 18th, 13th ... then supporters deserve a whole lot better in 2018. 'Hope' can be sold for only so long. 

Dejected Blues trudge off the ground following another loss in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos 

If the final ladder positions in the past four seasons read 13th, 12th, 12th 11th ... then supporters deserve a whole lot better in 2018. 'Hope' can be sold for only so long. 


the vibe we're getting is right ...

then the Bombers are ready to play big-time in the trade season. They need to.


If you win just two games in the final 13 of the season ... then when added to the horrors of 2016 you've got no wiggle room at the start of next year.

If there's one thing we love in September ... then it's a prelim final selection bolter. Those who matter at the Cats love what Nakia Cockatoo offers even when physically underdone

Nakia Cockatoo at the airport as the Cats head off to Adelaide. Picture: Getty Images

If John Barker was the early favourite to become coach ... then he's still short odds at this late stage. The marathon process assisting his cause. Dew and Kingsley also in the market.

If all the selection talk this week has been about Stevie J ... then that's just how it works. But another player who also got the call-up for last week's semi-final looms as crucial. Tim Taranto. Born to play in September.

Tim Taranto and Stevie J celebrate a goal during the Giants' big win over West Coast

If we look ahead to the trade period ... then we won't be convinced the Hawks aren't interested in Stringer until he actually signs elsewhere.


the chase is half the fun ... 

then the real fun only begins now. Actually landing Jake Lever deal is going to test resolve and relationships, as he will be coming in at big cost.

Jake Lever gives it to Harry Himmelberg during the Crows' first final against GWS

If everyone keeps saying no ... then get the message. Under the current set-up no one wants to go there

If we watched in amusement when North Melbourne needlessly rushed to extend Scott's contract because of the Suns' coach search ... then we actually laughed out loud when Port did the same with Ken. In the off-season AFL poker game, North blinked. And Port had eyelid spasms. 

Ken Hinkley and Port chief Keith Thomas face the media on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images

If you think you've experienced a loud noise before ... then you haven't. You will if you're at the MCG on Saturday evening. This will be jet-engine-at-30-metres type of noise

The Tiger army in action during Richmond's first final against the Cats. Picture: AFL Photos

If the Saints take picks seven and eight into the national draft ... then we'd be very surprised. They're planning something big in trade period.

If we're framing the 2018 premiership market ... then we've got the Swans as favourites. Provided they bring in another quality forward. 

The Swans leave the MCG after a disappointing final against Geelong. Picture: AFL Photos

If we've been critical of this club all season ... then we don't back away now. But, we do also add praise for hanging in there, having the courage to finish top eight, and then providing the competition with the only final of aesthetic note in the first three weeks.

If Luke Beveridge chose to publicly confirm he had problems with Stringer ... then

he also at that very moment shredded layers of Bulldogs currency in a Stringer trade. It is Stringer's choice where he now plays next, not yours 

Luke Beveridge leads the Dogs off the field in round 23. Picture: AFL Photos

And by popular request ...

If you don't stand for something on an issue that really matters ... then you stand for nothing. Yes

Gillon McLachlan and friends outside AFL House on Wednesday. Picture: AFL Photos 

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