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 ...

Daniel Talia, a two-time Therabody AFL All-Australian and no longer required by the Crows, will be only 30 at the start of the 2022 season ...

THEN ...

he's almost certain to find himself on another club's AFL list. Probably not at Luke Beveridge's Bulldogs, though, given the alleged info exchange with his brother in 2015.

IF ..

order was restored in round 21 with a dominant win against Fremantle ...

THEN ...

when Neale and Gardiner return after injury for Saturday night's match, there is a genuine reigniting of hope for big things in 2021.

IF ...

the team David Teague coached last weekend seemed to throw in the white towel ...

THEN ...

Teague himself clearly hasn’t surrendered. His public volunteering of a sympathetic phone call from Damien Hardwick was a political masterstroke, so too his referencing of the "courage to stick to the course" that allowed Hardwick to survive the type of board review to which Teague is being subjected right now.

06:37 Mins
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AFLW's historic day, Teague challenges board, Rory speaks

Nat Edwards with all the latest news

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IF ...

not many things have gone right for the Pies this season ...

THEN ...

one thing that has is Ollie Henry. Just eight matches on the AFL resume, but has genuine AFL presence.

00:38 Mins
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Henry's first ever AFL goal worth the wait

Oliver Henry delivers a cracking shot to earn his first goal in the AFL

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IF ...

Sam Draper isn't an All-Australian ruck at some stage of the next four seasons ...

THEN ...

I'll be very surprised. There's rare X-factor about this guy.

IF ...

there was one player the Dockers couldn't afford to be without for Sunday's derby ...

THEN ...

it was the one suspended during the week, Andrew Brayshaw. Hope it doesn't cost him the best and fairest, too.

00:24 Mins
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Gun Docker in MRO strife for this incident

Andrew Brayshaw in hot water for this incident with Jarrod Berry

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IF ...

it is indeed goodbye to the pre-finals bye weekend ...

THEN ...

that's even more bad news for Mitch Duncan and his hopes of returning after serious knee damage. Needs all the time he can get.

IF ...

only the Gold Coast had access to a 203cm, 103kg key forward capable of kicking seven goals in a match ...

THEN ...

oh yeah, that's right, it did. Interesting to see how they attempt to combat Peter Wright this weekend.

01:44 Mins
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Wright kicks bag of seven in Bombers' upset win

Peter Wright helped the Bomber's victory against the Bulldogs with this seven-goal haul

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IF ...

Toby is a massive out ...

THEN ...

Hopper, Kelly, Hogan and Mummy are very big ins for Friday night lights against the Tigers. Giants could end the Tigers' season here, and set up their own for some unexpected finals success.

IF ...

Tom Mitchell had his match impact queried a couple of months ago ...

THEN ...

not any more. Has had a very good back-end of 2021, at times as impactful as his Brownlow year of 2018.

00:28 Mins
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Mitchell shows class with booming finish

Tom Mitchell has showed once again that he is a class above with this stellar finish off a couple of steps

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IF ...

you miss one week with a back injury ...

THEN ...

that's not cause for alarm. But when you miss a second, that is. Dees need Tom McDonald to fix that back.

IF ...

fractures in his back and tibia in the two years he has been on the North list were major setbacks for key forward Charlie Comben ...

THEN ...

a debut match late in 2021 is a nice way to close that second season. And Nick Larkey desperately needs aerial help up forward.

IF ...

Mitch Georgiades wants to keep alive the debate about this year's NAB Rising Star, and not concede that Demon Luke Jackson is the 2021 winner ...

THEN ...

one way of doing that would be to bag seven against a Blues backline without Liam Jones. Tracking to be a gun, this kid.

01:07 Mins
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Georgiades uses Gawn as a ladder in epic speccy

Mitch Georgiades absolutely launches himself and hauls in an amazing Four'N Twenty Mark of the Year contender

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IF ...

you want to know the true origins of the Dimma-Jono Brown stoush ...

THEN ...

go back to the start of the 2004 Toyota AFL Grand Final. Hardwick started spotfires with Lions players, seemingly everywhere. Brown belted Josh Carr after that, Simon Black belted Hardwick. I loved their verbal stoush during the week, Brown doing his job perfectly in the media, Hardwick equally doing his in defending Tom Lynch.

IF ...

the Saints' best form in 2021 has been very good ...

THEN ...

their worst has been embarrassingly dreadful. No idea which version will be rocking up to the Cattery on Saturday afternoon.

IF ...

the finals double chance is now out of reach for the Swans and they can't drop below sixth no matter what happens from here ...

THEN ...

perfect time to rest Bud for the game against North on Saturday night. And now that it seems likely the pre-finals bye will be removed from the calendar, Swans should consider resting him again in round 23. Need him primed for an elimination final.

IF ...

this football club and those who represent it on-field every weekend are as proud as they claim to be ...

THEN ...

they will fight their way out of the ugly mess in which they find themselves. There are too many class players on this list for it not to make, and have an impact in, the finals series. But to this point of the past two seasons, real character has not often been on display.

IF ...

the embracing of the "next soldier" ideology was so crucial in 2016 when Bob and Mitch suffered season-ending injuries ...

THEN ...

no reason it can't again have a telling effect as the Dogs attempt to cover for the sadly unlucky Josh Bruce.

01:00 Mins
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Star Dog goes down clutching knee

Western Bulldog Josh Bruce suffers a knee injury in this late incident

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AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

Adrian Anderson has been defending players at Tribunal hearings for a while now ...

THEN ...

my head still never ceases to involuntarily slowly shake when it happens. Represented Toby Greene this week, unsuccessfully. As footy ops boss of the AFL, Anderson introduced the confusing and inconsistent Match Review Office system. In my eyes, there's certain roles certain people shouldn't take.