WITH the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season up and running, naturally, Damian Barrett's Sliding Doors is also up and about.

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

IF ...

you tally up the wins of each club from their final four matches of 2020 with their first four of 2021 ...

THEN ...

only Western Bulldogs, with seven, have been more successful than the Crows, with six, in that phase. Demons, Power, Tigers equal with Crows. Let that sink in slowly.

IF ..

there was one thing the Lions didn't want Joe Daniher to bring with him this year ...

THEN ...

it was a Bombers-type win-loss ratio. Need a win, desperately, on Saturday night on their home deck, against that very team.

01:38 Mins
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Expect highlights: Dons fired up to face Daniher

Bombers and Lions players discuss their round five matchup as Joe Daniher faces his old side

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IF ...

a 2-2 scoreline is better than 0-2 ...

THEN ...

only if it becomes 3-2 after Saturday's match against a banged-up Port Adelaide at the MCG will I begin to believe the Blues are on the right track. Wasn't convinced of credentials in wins against Dockers and Suns.

IF ...

there's been one thing in footy since day dot which miraculously makes all problems disappear and speculation stop ...

THEN ...

it is a W being added to the formline. For the Pies this week, it's simple. Win against the Eagles, and Bucks can coach again. Lose, and more crisis headlines.

04:01 Mins
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The unwinnable game: How 'Dirty Pies' proved the critics wrong

Collingwood players look back on their incredible victory over the Eagles in the 2020 Elimination Final

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IF ...

it has lost two matches by a combined four points, won another by 12 goals and got blown away by flag contenders Port Adelaide ...

THEN ...

it's been a more than OK start to 2021. But this team must, at the very least, hold it together against the Lions on Saturday. Then comes the Pies on Anzac Day. A season-shaping eight days coming up.

IF ...

the 2021 pattern continues ...

THEN ...

the Dockers, with an away fixture, will lose in round five, to the Crows at Adelaide Oval. Defeats at the MCG and Marvel Stadium, two wins at Optus Stadium. Time to break the cycle.

00:53 Mins
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Freo frenzy as fast Frederick takes on fellow speedster

Optus Stadium erupts as Michael Frederick bursts away from the speedy Changkuoth Jiath for a clever soccer

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IF ...

their final appearances for the Cats were ones they'd rather forget, with Gaz busting a shoulder and Harry managing just one kick in the 2020 Grand Final loss ...

THEN ...

it just doesn't matter, given the individual and Geelong success to which they deeply contributed in a combined 527 matches for the club (Gaz also had 110 with the Suns). It will be a great moment on Sunday when they will share a lap of honour at GMHBA Stadium.

01:04 Mins
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One of the greatest ever says farewell, we'll miss you Gaz

Gary Ablett's illustrious career has come to an end, with the champion leaving the field for the last time to a resounding applause

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IF ...

this was meant to be the year the Suns finally made a sustained run for the top eight ...

THEN ...

it's already clear that it won't be. Worried already, particularly so with what the Bulldogs might do to them on Saturday.

IF ...

he suffered one of the more worrying illnesses last year (septic arthritis, which damaged hips, back, a wrist and ankle) ...

THEN ...

it's fantastic to see Sam Taylor not only back but resuming a career which looked headed for the stars in 2019.

IF ...

Shaun Burgoyne has had an incredible impact in many dozens of matches in a career which began way back in 2002 ...

THEN ...

the Hawks' round four game against the Dockers was not one of them. He sat out game No.393 as the medical sub, which, for an ultra-competitive athlete, was both a frustration and a bonus, as he nears becoming just the fifth player to reach 400.

IF ...

Trac, Clarry, Maysie, Maxxy, Kossy, Jakey and Fritta have been rightly getting the headlines for the stunning beginning to 2021 ...

THEN ...

Burgo deserves plenty, too. Darren Burgess that is, head of high performance at the Demons, who has this group humming.

IF ...

Ben Cunnington didn't deserve the one-match ban handed to him by the Match Review Officer for his collision with Rory Laird ...

THEN ...

he also didn’t deserve the $2000 fine to which the initial charge was downgraded after a Tribunal hearing. MRO back to its ultra-confusing ways.

IF ...

32-year-old Travis Boak is already on record with a desire to become the AFL's Tom Brady and play beyond 40 ...

THEN ...

given he's come off his best season, being runner-up in the 2020 Brownlow, and has started his 15th AFL year in blistering style, that dream will be staying alive for a very long time.

IF ...

Shane Edwards had tips through the hair and a body full of ink ...

THEN ...

maybe the footy industry would view him as it should have a very long time ago: a genuine superstar, and as crucial as any individual to the dominance of the Tigers in the past five years. But the last thing he has ever wanted is public acclaim.

00:37 Mins
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Edwards electric in speedy snap

Shane Edwards bursts through the contest with great pace and bends one through

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IF ...

the come-from-behind win against West Coast in round four provided a ray of hope ...

THEN ...

Thursday’s performance against Richmond was a total eclipse. Until they get a fully fit Marshall and Ryder back, they’re in the twilight zone, the Saints.

IF ...

you'd never heard of Errol Gulden before round one and don’t know much about him four matches later ...

THEN ...

it doesn't matter – you'll have a minimum 15 years to work it out. We are witnessing an extraordinary debut season.

00:37 Mins
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Swans extend lead through Gulden's incredible first career goal

Errol Gulden has extended Sydney's lead with this sensational set shot goal

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IF ...

a fortnight after believing they were officially back as flag front-runners ...

THEN ...

I'm now second-guessing that and wondering if they're simply flat-track bullies.

IF ...

Caleb Daniel got a one-game ban for his tackle on Thomas Berry ...

THEN ...

he was lucky. Should have been two.

00:36 Mins
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Lion crunched in Caleb's big tackle

This tackle by Bulldog Caleb Daniel leaves Brisbane's Tom Berry shaken

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AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

I've raised it for years now and nothing has changed ...

THEN ...

I'll keep trying. In the event of an umpire determining that a player has been infringed upon by an opponent at the precise time a teammate of his takes a mark, then the mark should trump the free kick when it comes to who gets the ball. The game will one day be robbed of a mark of the year contender because of this rule.