WITH the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season racing to a conclusion, Damian Barrett's Sliding Doors is really heating up.

So what's Damo saying about your club? 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 consequence of Tex's unfortunate collision at Adelaide Oval last weekend was him missing this week's match against Essendon ...

THEN ...

that's a fantastic outcome given the unthinkable possibilities that unfolded when he lost control of his own velocity before contacting Daniel Rich's hip.

00:28 Mins
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Tex helped off ground after sickening blow

Taylor Walker had to be helped off the ground after coming off second best from this contest with Brisbane's Daniel Rich

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IF ..

Zac Bailey isn't All-Australian in 2021 ...

THEN ...

the selectors aren't paying due attention. 

00:46 Mins
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Bailey brilliance in this burst to banana

Zac Bailey shows off his impressive set of wheels and lands a dazzling goal

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IF ...

the two matches since the full-scope review was called have seen wins against the Crows and Dockers ...

THEN ...

that deserves acknowledgment for coach David Teague. But he'll need to add a round 17 win against the Cats if he wants to get some serious kudos.

05:43 Mins
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Teague on Clarko whispers, prized pup unleashed, Fyfe's milestone

Nat Edwards with the latest news

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IF ...

the Magpies weren't the embarrassing and disorganised rabble they clearly are at board level in 2021 ...

THEN ...

I'd have been prepared to buy into the possibility that they planned the Mitchell-Clarkson upheaval at Hawthorn. But not only are they not that clever in their current guise, they are not presenting as a destination for someone with the clout of Clarko.

IF ...

there have been only six wins to this point of 2021 ...

THEN ...

it won't matter too much if there aren't many more. Have seen more than enough to be convinced the Bombers are on the right track.

IF ...

there have been small signs of progress ...

THEN ...

there have been bigger signs of stagnation. This team should not be losing to the Blues, as happened last weekend. And it certainly should not be losing to Hawthorn in Tasmania this weekend.

IF ...

a hamstring pinged in January, then again just before round one and then one more time during last weekend's round 16 match ...

THEN ...

we ain't seeing Jez Cameron until round 22 at the earliest. No matter who is to blame, this is now semi panic stations for the player who was recruited to be the difference between making and winning a Grand Final.

01:17 Mins
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Massive Cats blow with Cameron done

Geelong has suffered a huge injury concern with Jeremy Cameron out of the game

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IF ...

the win against the champs, the Tigers, was ultra-impressive last weekend ...

THEN ...

I'm refraining from hailing it as the turning point in this club's timeline. Have seen it before, in 2013, 2014, even 2017. Need a whole lot more evidence.

IF ...

the coach was prepared to axe captain Coniglio in 2020 ...

THEN ...

dropping Tom Green, the standout favourite in all NAB AFL Rising Star markets, for a round 15, 2021 match was small fry. Probably won't happen again, though. A genuine star in the making.

IF ...

there has been so much to analyse since Tuesday's sudden 'Mitch To Take Over From Clarko' coaching storyline ...

THEN ...

the most prominent topic for me has been the fact that the two men spent a whopping 20 minutes discussing the arrangement before it was made public. There's a lot to read into that.

05:06 Mins
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What Clarko DIDN'T say, Bombers just need one more tick

Damian Barrett on the favourite sons turning coaches, the 'flat-track bullies' and the signature Essendon needs

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IF ...

I thought Tomlinson going down was catastrophic ...

THEN ...

it was merely a blip on the radar. For it has unleashed Harrison Petty. 

IF ...

Eddie Ford has now got an AFL game to his name ...

THEN ...

that's nice. But it would have been a whole lot nicer if he was to have actually got the chance to run onto the field of battle, and not spend his entire debut experience wearing the medi-sub top. That role should never be asked of "first-gamers".

IF ...

they didn't actually do anything wrong in last year's home prelim final against the Tigers but lost anyway ...

THEN ...

history is going to record it as a massive lost opportunity. As was the 2014 prelim final, against that year's eventual premier Hawthorn. On Thursday night, looked also-rans in a top-four clash, against Melbourne at Adelaide Oval.

06:24 Mins
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Highlights: Port Adelaide v Melbourne

The Power and Demons clash in round 17

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IF ...

a spark is now clearly required to retrieve the 2021 season ...

THEN ...

Sydney Stack has to play from here. Included among the extended interchange for Sunday's match against Collingwood, needs to be in the 22.

IF ...

there's been a lot go wrong in 2021 ...

THEN ...

the continued emergence of Jack Steele is one of the very few high points. Carrying this team like a true leader.

IF ...

he's been on the verge of becoming the game's Next Big Thing for some time already ...

THEN ...

Isaac Heeney's official arrival time is nigh. May just "own" the remainder of 2021.

00:40 Mins
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Super Isaac shows his knack in attack

Isaac Heeney reads the play to perfection and snaps through a beauty

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IF ...

there's the proverbial sporting war to fight any time soon ...

THEN ...

the last battalion to which I'd want to be assigned would be the Eagles. Last week's effort against the Swans the latest exposure of surrender when it's all too hard.

IF ...

it took 17 rounds ...

THEN ...

so be it. No.1 draft pick from 2020 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan gets his chance. If Bevo's ladder-leading outfit needed an X-factor as it heads to the pointy end of a premiership surge, then here it is.

02:01 Mins
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Trade talk is BS: Emotional Jamarra finds out he's playing AFL

Watch the moment Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is told he's making his AFL debut

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AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the public pile-on directed at AFL footy department boss Steve Hocking this week was as pathetically predictable as it was misdirected when he announced he was leaving for the Cats CEO role ...

THEN ...

really wish every single one of those people firing the abuse actually realised he achieved more than anyone else in that role, and that the AFL big picture is worse for his departure.