WITH the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season racing to its 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 ...

Matt Crouch, who was re-contracted this week until the end of 2023, can next season get back to near his All-Australian best ...

THEN ...

this Crows rebuild will take another significant step. Very good when fully fit.

IF ..

anyone thinks Lachie Neale will be the only AFL player this Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period to consider breaking a contract and placing a family situation ahead of a football one ...

THEN ...

he won't be. COVID-19 restrictions a massive game changer.

04:23 Mins
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Neale's call, Dog leaves track early, Dees embrace pressure

Nat Edwards with all the latest finals news

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IF ...

you look up dysfunctional in the footy dictionary ...

THEN ...

there is a picture of the Blues' board.

IF ...

you look up dysfunctional in the footy dictionary ...

THEN ...

there is also a picture of the Collingwood board.

IF ...

the second and third seasons of his time at Essendon haven't unfolded the way he and his club would have liked ...

THEN ...

there's a lot to wade through for Dylan Shiel in the off-season. Crunch time.

IF ...

the big fish was on the hook for a few days ...

THEN ...

it ended up being the big one that got away on Thursday when Lachie Neale said he was staying with Brisbane. And yet it is not the worst outcome for the Dockers who are building very nicely in the midfield, even with Cerra leaving.

IF ...

you're coughing up three first-round picks in the 2020 Trade Period for a big forward ...

THEN ...

prelim final night 2021 is THE time you want him to stand up. A big Friday night for Jez Cameron, a bigger night for the Cats.

IF ...

Touk Miller had been unlucky in two previous best and fairest counts, coming second both last year and in 2018 ...

THEN ...

just reward in 2021. A club champion trophy to place alongside his Therabody AFL All-Australian jacket.

03:47 Mins
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Touk explains 'weird', made-up name, his Maribyrnong to AFL journey

Gold Coast star Touk Miller opens up in our Walking the Path series

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IF ...

a coach's finals record is in the black ...

THEN ...

he's a very good coach. Leon Cameron at 7-6, with wins in five separate finals series, amid all types of adversity.

IF ...

Tom Mitchell has moved clubs once before ...

THEN ...

the footy industry talk on it happening again just won't go away. Joined the Hawks to play under Clarko in a premiership. Clarko's gone, and the Hawks are as close to a flag as Jeff is to being invited to Clarko's house for Christmas lunch.

IF ...

the nerves can be kept at bay ...

THEN ...

a place in the Toyota AFL Grand Final is guaranteed for the Demons. But the nerves will come into play at some stage. There are 57 years of them.

IF ...

there was one good thing to come out of Jaidyn Stephenson's mad bike ride at home a couple weeks ago ...

THEN ...

it was that he has avoided surgery. But he hasn't escaped more eyebrows being raised at another avoidable situation.

IF ...

the AFL season can be likened to the Melbourne Cup ...

THEN ...

Port Adelaide is poised to take the lead at the clocktower. Seems to be cantering, and to have plenty left in the tank. Was that jockey Kenny even taking a confident look over his shoulder?

IF ...

these were pre-COVID times ...

THEN ...

Richmond may have said no to allowing Matt Parker to play in the WAFL finals. Great to see a softening of hardline footy views here. Well played, Tigers.

IF ...

2021 didn't unfold to expectations on the field ...

THEN ...

there has been continued Saints success in non-football projects, from the emphasis this week on the R U OK? initiative, to Spud's Game: Time To Talk, to the Pride Game, to Maddie's Match. More than a footy club.

IF ...

it was crucial the Swans retained Luke Parker ...

THEN ...

it wasn't as crucial that they re-contracted him for four more years. Not sure how that deal will be looking mid-2025.

IF ...

many others got the headlines from their impact in the 2018 Grand Final ...

THEN ...

Mark Hutchings deserved plenty, too, given both his role in that game on Steele Sidebottom and his form for the entire season. His time as an Eagle was ended during the week. He couldn't have got any more out of his career.

IF ...

you now add the ice in his veins to the perpetual spring in his step to the rock star looks to the social media megastar profile to the football nous, class, leadership and durability (hasn't missed even one game since he was drafted) ...

THEN ...

in Bailey Smith we're witnessing a very special talent on many levels.

00:44 Mins
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Smith's sensational clutch shot may just clinch it

Bailey Smith lands an outrageous goal in the dying moments to give the Dogs the lead

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AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the Grand Final returns to the MCG in 2022 ...

THEN ...

it too should be played under lights as per the Gabba in 2020 and Optus Stadium in 2021. And then the MCC contract should be amended, again, and the Adelaide Oval given rights to host the game in 2026.

07:22 Mins
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Time to see the light, a night Grand Final MUST stay

Damian Barrett on a no-brainer for the Grand Final, players rising for the finals and plaudits to Simon Goodwin

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