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Sliding Doors: IF it's R17 and Coniglio is yet to commit ... THEN

IF it's R17 and free agent Stephen Coniglio is yet to commit ... THEN - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,GWS Giants,Gold Coast Suns,Hawthorn Hawks,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Sydney Swans,St Kilda Saints,Western Bulldogs,West Coast Eagles,Sliding Doors,column
IF it's R17 and free agent Stephen Coniglio is yet to commit ... THEN

If

the past two weeks have been bleak ...

then

the next four strangely loom as vibrantly bright. Suns, Bombers (at Adelaide Oval), Blues, Saints. No excuse not to make finals.

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If

the Dogs and Tigers were able to win flags in 2016 and 2017 ...

then

the Lions' case to do so in 2019, upon entry to round 17, actually has a whole lot more compelling reasons.

 

If

it's harsh for David Teague to hear he's not in the running for the permanent role ...

then

that's understandable. But as good a job as he's done in four matches, he's not going to be the coach in 2020. 

If

you believe in a dream ...

then

keep believing in it, no matter the rejections and odds. John Noble did. On the Friday stage, he becomes an AFL level footballer.

If

Heppell is again unavailable with a foot injury ...

then

I can't see how the Bombers can beat North in the Saturday twilight fixture.

If

Ross The Boss wants to achieve something this year ...

then

the starting point is beating the Hawks in Tassie on Saturday. 

If

someone had played only eight matches before the start of 2019, and another 10 among injury this year for a career tally of 18 ...

then

normally that player wouldn't attract much attention. But I've seen enough of Esava Ratugolea to know he has ability that may be make or break on a 2019 premiership tilt for the Cats. And he's back this week. 

If

you listen to Tony Cochrane for 10 minutes ...

then

his elite salesman abilities leave you convinced the Suns need the pre-pick one selection in the NAB AFL National Draft. But reflection upon the damage done to the competition on past compromised drafts says it MUST NOT HAPPEN

If

it's round 17 and free agent Coniglio is yet to commit for 2020 ...

then

it's getting really late.   

If

Wingard is truly fit ...

then

the Hawks will win a second consecutive match and keep alive their weird hope of a finals berth.   

If

Gawn and Lever are among the ins ...

then

this Sunday's match against the Bulldogs is very winnable. 

If

some clubs become suffocated by installing committees to make decisions ... 

then

not this one. Here, it's whatever Glenn Archer and Ben Buckley decree. Interesting, risky times as they seek to get the North band back together for reasons best known to them.   

If

it's not quite Knights versus Van der Haar in its anticipation ...

then

it is still very appealing. Dixon v Andrews. A match-shaping match-up.    

If

the ladder position (6th) looks good given all the injuries, and with Caddy and Riewoldt to return for this game against the Giants ...

then

that's all positive but I've still got a lot of doubt. 

If

the rain comes as forecast ... 

then

it might keep the deficit at the Cattery to below 10 goals.  

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If

Longmire ever presented openly about his views on umpires ...

then

Exhibit A would be the 2016 Grand Final. And Exhibit B might be last Saturday's loss to Essendon.    

If

I've said it many times before ...

then

may as well say it again. If Nic Nat stays fit, then the Eagles go back-to-back.  

 

If

Bevo loves one thing as a coach ... 

then

it is being able to convince his team it is the underdog. Great success when that is the case. But, as it stands, Dogs will be favourites in their next three matches, which makes them danger games. 

If

there's a certain outcome for next year ...

then

it will be that coaches regain use of runners, albeit in a very limited way, on top of their already allowed after-goal allowances.   

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