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.

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 ...

you're a Crows supporter and you manage to negotiate your way through being exposed to those "sweaty men" who might have touched a football that you need to "duck, and do not touch" if it makes its way into the crowd, but if you do touch it make sure you "sanitise your hands before you start eating your chips"...

THEN ...

after dealing with all of that the four premiership points would be a mere bonus on Saturday, if indeed your team is able to beat the Pies. Don’t forget the forever underrated vinegar on the chips, too.

Riley Thilthorpe celebrates with Adelaide supporters after the Crows' win over Melbourne in round 10, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

IF ..

the fit-again Brownlow medallist is back alongside one of the coach's favourites in Ryan Lester...

THEN ...

that's even more reason to make sure you're plonked in front of a TV on Friday night by 7.50pm to watch what looms as one of the game of the year, against ladder leader Melbourne.

Brisbane's Lachie Neale celebrates a goal against Essendon in round five, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the Blues have been regularly underwhelming to the point of being incapable of beating any opponent with a modicum of good talent...

THEN ...

here's their chance: the equally questionable and now very banged-up Eagles (no Allen, McGovern, Shuey, Kelly, Kennedy, Duggan), at the neutral venue SCG on Sunday. A must-win game in a season which is again going nowhere.

Sam Docherty of the Blues leads his players from the field during round 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

Mark Korda spent as much time trying to fix his badly wounded football club as he does writing long letters with the word "governance" in them...

THEN ...

the Pies may have been able to already begin the now very long road back to form of respectability.

Collingwood players leave the field at half-time during the round 11 match between Collingwood and Geelong at the MCG on May 29, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the Bombers have magnificently captivated Perth with the Dreamtime game at Optus Stadium a sellout...

THEN ...

they need to make sure they tick the box on the last part of the project: the actual football match itself. Win that, and this week may well go down as the official rebirth of the Essendon Football Club.

00:39 Mins
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Waterman ices the game against his former side

Alec Waterman puts the Bombers out of reach with this match-winning goal

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IF ...

Lobb produces his best and Taberner has recovered from injury and Fyfe kicks straight and Walters winds the clock back...

THEN ...

the Dockers will be a chance against the Dogs. But, like Carlton, this club doesn’t seem capable of a surprise win.

Nat Fyfe rides a shot on goal home. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

you're stopping the All-Australian key forward debate right now...

THEN ...

maybe Harry and Texan are ahead of Tomahawk. But only maybe. And Hawkins has been outstanding, again.

Geelong's Tom Hawkins (right) celebrates a goal against Collingwood with Max Holmes. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the win in round 11 against Hawthorn was impressive albeit expected and left the Suns at 4-7...

THEN ...

they must use the bye weekend to regroup and commit to hitting the back half of the season with never-before-seen-at-the-Suns commitment. Fremantle awaits in round 13.

Ben King of the Suns celebrates a goal with teammates during round 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

Toby can compact his recovery from a shoulder injury and be ready to go after this weekend's bye...

THEN ...

with North Melbourne, Carlton and Hawthorn awaiting the Giants in rounds 13, 14 and 15 there would be every reason to believe this most unlikely of finals campaigns might still be alive.

Toby Greene at Giants training in May, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

IF ...

you've studied Jeff Kennett closely in his public life...

THEN ...

you'll have observed that as well as accomplishing things others could only dream of he has also been the greatest deflector that politics and football has ever seen. Something must be about to go down at his Hawks, because even by Jeff's standards, he has been very keen to publicly express negative opinions on a lot of people in the past few weeks.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

there are definitely bigger headline-grabbing names at the Demons than Ed Langdon in this history-shaping start to 2021...

THEN ...

it is arguable that there have been too many more impactful players in this startling run. Unfortunately missing with concussion for Friday night lights against the Lions.

Melbourne's Ed Langdon fires off a handball under pressure from Richmond's Shai Bolton in round six on April 24, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

IF ...

the Roos drafted a ruckman kid out of Sandringham as the No.1 pick in the NAB AFL Mid-Season draft...

THEN ...

they should play him immediately, after their bye, against GWS. And that would be one almighty initiation for Jacob Edwards, playing against Shane Mumford in an AFL debut.

03:10 Mins
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Edwards reflects on being taken as the No.1 pick

Jacob Edwards chats to the panel about the excitement of heading to North Melbourne

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IF ...

the first half of the season was more than OK with an 8-3 scoreline...

THEN ...

the back half will need to be a whole lot better if Port is to seriously push for a second flag. Sam Powell-Pepper had a big round 11. Might be the key to what lies ahead.

01:58 Mins
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Powerful Powell-Pepper performance was the difference

Sam Powell-Pepper was enormous for the Power, notching three goals and assisting a number of teammates

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IF ...

he was required to hit the road and drive up the Hume to Sydney this week to join his Tigers teammates before they fly to Perth for Saturday's Dreamtime match...

THEN ...

that's a walk in the park for Shane Edwards and a return to football after injury. Last year he was stuck in quarantine for 14 days with access only to a 45m x 40m patch of grass before returning to dominate in another premiership.

Shane Edwards and Damien Hardwick talk during round six, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the glass is half empty...

THEN ...

the start to the 2021 season, after winning a final in 2020, has been semi-disastrous. If the glass if half full, the Saints are just one game out of the eight.

Max King and his St Kilda teammates look dejected after losing against Geelong in round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the knee he wrenched late in last week's win against Carlton isn’t too sore...

THEN ...

I reckon Buddy is poised for a big one. Maybe not 13 – thirteeeeen – but at least six. When he's been fit this year, there have been some old-school Buddy moments.

01:53 Mins
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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 ...

all great campaigns are proven to have a positive turning-point moment...

THEN ...

for the Eagles, that day has arrived - Sunday's match against Carlton at the SCG, a venue the club hasn't won at since 1999. No Allen, McGovern, Kennedy, Shuey, Kelly, Duggan. Seemingly no hope. This is when true character might kick in.

West Coast players after the shock loss to Essendon in round 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

I haven't agreed with Luke Beveridge on more than a few matters in the past...

THEN ...

I'm fully with him on his suggestion this week that the wages of senior coaches be removed from each club's football department soft-cap. Makes sense on so many levels.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge addresses his players during round 10, 2021. Pictures: AFL Photos

AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the NAB AFL Mid-Season Draft proves anything...

THEN ...

it is that the AFL should open up more avenues for in-season player acquisition. I'm particularly keen on in-season AFL club to club trading of players and picks.

03:38 Mins
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Who were the big winners of the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft

The panel wrap up the 2021 mid-season draft

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