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? Who is in the firing line? And what's he saying about the AFL? You can't say that, Damo, can you?

Oh, and be sure you tune in to AFL Daily as Nat and Damo put the spotlight on all the big issues. Check it out.

IF ...

the start to 2021 was very good ...

THEN ...

the past two matches – bad losses to the Giants and Power - have been worrying. With West Coast in Perth on Sunday, and Melbourne and Richmond to follow, this could still be a very looooong season for the Crows.

IF ..

Brandon Starcevich is not yet in the All-Australian team ...

THEN ...

he deserves to be. Not one opponent of his in 2021 has finished a match with more than one goal, and that list includes Gray, De Goey, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Walters, Betts and even Papley (though in round one he did manage nine score involvements).

Brandon Starcevich gets a handball away from Andrew Brayshaw in round eight, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

your plan is to shoot down a media story, specifically that Cripps had suffered a fracture in his back and had required injections to play ...

THEN ...

there are many better ways to do it than the dismissive and indignant manner David Teague embraced on Thursday.

07:19 Mins
Published on

Kennett angry, Cripps latest, Magpie mission

Nat Edwards with all the latest news

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IF ...

Bucks wants to throw an unexpected curveball into the conversation about his future ...

THEN ...

leading the Pies to upset victories in the next three matches – Swans on Saturday at the SCG, Power and Cats at the MCG in rounds 10 and 11 – would have that effect.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley addresses his players against North Melbourne in round eight, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

there was one player the Bombers could least afford to lose with injury out of round eight ...

THEN ...

it was Jake Stringer. Was putting together his best season since 2015, now out for a month with a hamstring.

00:44 Mins
Published on

Star Bomber bombs one from 50m

Jake Stringer sends one long and delivers a beauty

Published on

IF ...

reality hit in the form of bad losses against West Coast and Brisbane, following good wins against the lowly trio of Hawthorn, Adelaide and North ...

THEN ...

the Dockers need to beat Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Sunday if they want to be taken seriously. After that, a very tough stretch awaits – Swans, Power, Dogs.

IF ...

the Cats were, indeed, the Victorian club which asked a genuine question about Aaron Sandilands' availability for the mid-season draft ...

THEN ...

it would make sense. Now that they've answered their forward line questions with Cameron, the ruck remains the biggest worry.

IF ...

there have been many false promises and dawns in the Suns' 11 years in the AFL ...

THEN ...

Saturday afternoon's match against Brisbane in a QClash at Metricon Stadium presents itself as the perfect occasion to stand for something meaningful.

02:57 Mins
Published on

'They've got a lot to lose': Suns and Lions set for QClash

Gold Coast and Brisbane players discuss what's at stake in the upcoming QClash

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IF ...

the last time this season Toby and his Giants ventured to Melbourne resulted in a belated kick-start victory to the 2021 season, with a round four win against Collingwood ...

THEN ...

they will be expecting the same outcome on Saturday night, against the Tigers. Both teams are 4-4, separated by 4.5 per cent.

01:53 Mins
Published on

Greene steals the spotlight with a handful

Watch as Toby Greene tears up the 'G as acting captain for the Giants

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IF ...

you're familiar with how Jeff Kennett operates ...

THEN ...

it would have been no surprise when he last year got personal against Jordan Lewis for daring to express the truth about the sorry plight of the Hawks' list. And even less surprise to see him now attempting to spin his way into the future, and in so doing actually agreeing with Lewis.

Jordan Lewis (left) and Jeff Kennett back in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

all the pre-season plans had big Ben Brown and Sam Weideman in the key forward posts ...

THEN ...

it's yet another massive positive for the Demons that they boast an 8-0 scoreline before getting the chance to unleash this combo. Weideman in for the injured Jackson for Sunday's game against Carlton.

02:38 Mins
Published on

VFL Showreel, R3: Four-goal Weideman knocking on door

Melbourne young gun Sam Weideman continues to mount his AFL selection case with another dominant VFL hitout

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IF ...

the Roos abruptly ended Boomer's extraordinary career in 2016 ...

THEN ...

they should consider selecting him in the looming mid-season draft. He'd not only still get a game in this side, but be one of the better players.

05:43 Mins
Published on

Fantastic Five: Brent Harvey's best moments

Diminutive in size but huge in impact, 'Boomer' holds the record for most VFL/AFL games with 432 across two decades at North Melbourne. His ever-present speed to burn made him a handful for the opposition

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IF ...

you're already battling a sprained MCL in one knee and a torn medial meniscus in the other ...

THEN ...

Tom Rockliff could have done without deep vein thrombosis in a calf and even more worryingly subsequent blood clots on the lungs. Hope there is enough time for him to recover for finals.

00:36 Mins
Published on

Silky Rockliff squeezes it through space

A quick pick-up and goal from Tom Rockliff sees Port Adelaide score its first and only goal for the third term

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IF ...

it wasn’t Richmond sitting in eighth place on entry to round nine ...

THEN ...

I'd be totally writing off that eighth placed team's premiership chances. It has looked ordinary in losing four of its past six matches. But I made the embarrassing mistake of writing off the Tigers after round one 2019, the day after Rance went down. So I'm not writing them off again until mathematics proves they can be written off.

IF ...

a 2-4 start to the year has become 4-4 after wins against Hawthorn and Gold Coast ...

THEN ...

the jury is still out on the Saints' credentials. It will return with a favourable verdict in the event of a surprise win versus Geelong under the Friday night lights.

IF ...

some have been prepared to write off Bud after a lacklustre performance in round eight ...

THEN ...

I'm not. Backing him in for a big second half of 2021.

01:53 Mins
Published on

Franklin puts past five in dominant performance

Lance Franklin put in a dominant outing with this five-goal display in his side's nailbiting loss

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IF ...

the Eagles were to tear up their contract with Willie Rioli after another drug related issue ...

THEN ...

they'd be more than justified. But I reckon they will give him one last, last chance.

04:54 Mins
Published on

Sack, support, suspend: Eagles' Rioli options, Saints' primetime 'blindspot'

Damian Barrett with the latest on Willie Rioli, an unsung Lion, and St Kilda's horror stat

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IF ...

there are still some who doubt the Bulldogs' premiership credentials despite their 7-1 start ...

THEN ...

there will be no one unsure if Port Adelaide, at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night, is added to the hit list. A massive game for this club.

AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the AFL spends more than 45 seconds analysing a North Melbourne bid for a priority draft pick ...

THEN ...

it's about 44 seconds too long. No. No. No.

North Melbourne coach David Noble and his players leave the field after the loss to Collingwood in round eight, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos