WITH the AFL season back in action, Sliding Doors is hitting its straps. 

So what's Damo saying about your club? What's he saying about the AFL? Check it out.

Adelaide Crows

IF ...

you look at the Crows team on paper ...

THEN ...

even with all the self-inflicted problems of the past two and a half years it is still difficult to reconcile with the 0-4 scoreline and 51.9 percentage. Face another 0-4 team this weekend. Let's see if they've got any will.

Brisbane Lions

IF ...

Dayne Zorko doesn’t overcome his Achilles problem ...

THEN ...

the Lions, as good as they are, won't be able to go as deep into the premiership race as they'd like. It's been lingering a long time already, this problem.

Carlton

IF ...

season 2020 was meant to be different to the six before it ... 

THEN ...

after Thursday night’s loss to the Saints, it is difficult to believe that to be the case. Simply, I’m not seeing any significant progress. The Teague Train needs a service, quickly.

 Collingwood

IF ...

Eddie, justifiably, wanted a proper public explanation around Jack Steven's stabbing ...

THEN ...

don't be too hard on him that he didn’t want one on Steele Sidebottom. Ed's public search for awkward detail applies only to players from 17 clubs.

Essendon

IF ...

you're coming up against the best ruckman in the game and you decide to "manage" out of your team your No.1 ruck ...

THEN ...

I'm not buying it. Either big Bellcho is fit and you're scared of playing him against the mobile Brodie, or he's banged up and unable to play. Managed, shmanaged.

Fremantle

IF ...

the Dockers are one of two 0-4 teams upon entry to round five ... 

THEN ...

on exposed form, they are clearly in better form than the other one, which they happen to play on neutral Gold Coast territory this Sunday. Nat's unavailability, though, won’t help the pursuit of an inaugural coaching win for Justin Longmuir.

00:32 Mins
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Fyfe out with hamstring injury

Nat Fyfe's hamstring injury to be the talk of the night

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Geelong Cats

IF ...

you go back to this corresponding round five fixture of 2007 ...

THEN ...

it was the day a young man, in just his fourth game, announced himself to the competition. The Cats lost that day, to North, but in every subsequent game Joel Selwood played that year, they won, all the way through to a drought-breaking premiership. Thirteen years and 295 games (189 of those as captain) later, Selwood, the greatest Cats captain ever, gets to share a big milestone with his great mate and greatest ever Cat, Gary Ablett (350 matches). It's just not right that there will be no one in the crowd to witness it.

02:35 Mins
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It's like he's Darth Vader: Selwood moves to the darkside ahead of game 300

Geelong captain Joel Selwood reaches an epic milestone... and we find out how well his teammates know him

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 Gold Coast Suns

IF ...

history proves that some of the all-time great midfielders were left to play without a hard tag until their fifth AFL season ...

THEN ...

if we needed any more convincing that Rowell is something else it will come on Saturday when the Cats assign him a run-with player, in his fifth GAME.

01:23 Mins
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Wow, Rowell, the hype is real

Matt Rowell further enhances his highly touted credentials after another stunning performance

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GWS Giants

IF ...

the Giants narrowly got over the line in a nice win against the Pies in round four ...

THEN ...

it was much-needed after two losses. But it won't mean anything if it isn’t franked with another victory against the Hawks on Sunday.

04:31 Mins
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Watch the last two minutes: GWS v Coll

Relive the thrilling final moments between the Giants and the Pies

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Hawthorn

IF ...

it was a video presentation on a laptop over a coffee with Gillon McLachlan last time ... 

THEN ...

it was a more conventional post-match sook this time for Clarko over perceived umpire bias against his players. Different tactics, same result. Not often he doesn't get his way, Clarko, one way or another.

01:15 Mins
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'We need to be tougher on holding the ball': Gill reacts to Clarko

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan responds to Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson's claim the modern game is in a dreadful state

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Melbourne

IF ...

the Dees want to convince the footy world, and not just themselves, that they are capable of returning to 2018 levels ... 

THEN ...

beating the Tigers on Sunday would at least be a beginning to that process. A massive moment for this club.

North Melbourne

IF ...

the Roos miss the finals by a game or two ... 

THEN ...

they will look back on the past fortnight of football, and rue it. Games against the Swans and Hawks were there to be won, but a too-conservative approach for the first three quarters of both games proved costly.

03:34 Mins
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Watch the last two minutes: Haw v NM

Enjoy the thrilling final moments between the Hawks and the Kangaroos

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Port Adelaide

IF ...

you see a group of fit men handcuffed to railings at a Gold Coast resort next week ...

THEN ...

that might be Kenny and his players. So successful has south-east Queensland hub life been for the Power – potentially setting up a crack at the 2020 flag - that they may not want to go home, even when allowed.

02:52 Mins
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Dominant Dixon continues hot start

Charlie Dixon leads Port Adelaide to its fourth-straight win

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Richmond

IF ...

it was Pickett omitted last week and Stack this week ... 

THEN ...

there's a clear reality check on the Tigers' speculative draft picks. Also, there's a big question mark right now on what this extraordinarily difficult 2020 season actually means to this club.

St Kilda

IF ...

you're a Saints supporter today ...

THEN ...

allow yourself to think big. Well, at least contextually big. The win against Carlton itself may not mean much, but it was a done-deal 10 minutes in, and it came after wins this year against Richmond and Bulldogs. Loved Ratts’ move of Geary on Docherty. An old-fashioned, old-school change-up to structure.

Sydney Swans

IF ...

Naismith was sadly already gone for another 12 months with another knee reco, and then Sinclair too became unavailable for a match where Nic Nat awaits in the ruck ...

THEN ...

good luck Hayden McLean, in game No.7.

00:54 Mins
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Young Swan slots first career goal

Sydney gets around fifth-gamer Hayden McLean after he puts it through

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West Coast Eagles

IF ...

I was Simmo ... 

THEN ...

I'd never axe Lewis Jetta. But admire immensely the fact he has done that. A circuit breaker was required for the Eagles. Time to get tough, on and off the field.

Western Bulldogs

IF ...

Naughton will be a massive loss for the next six weeks at least ... 

THEN ...

Easton Wood coming back for Saturday's game against North will assist in balancing some of that ledger.

00:18 Mins
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Naughton's night ends early after ankle worry

The Bulldogs suffer an unfortunate blow with Aaron Naughton forced to leave the game after injuring his ankle

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AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

it takes a public sook from Clarko to change how holding-the-ball is to be policed from round five onwards ...

THEN ...

I wonder what the umpires were doing in the first four rounds. Full-season consistency should be non-negotiable.