WITH the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period done and dusted, Damian Barrett's Sliding Doors is wrapping up for season 2021.

So, for the final time this year, what's Damo saying about your club? What's he saying about the AFL? You can't say that, Damo, can you?

>> And don't forget to catch AFL Daily as Damo and Nathan Schmook discuss one of the biggest issues confronting the game. Check it out below.

IF ...

there has been a lot of noise about Jordan Dawson in the past month...

THEN ...

that is justified, as he showed plenty in his relatively short time as a Swan. But massive pressure to perform in 2022.

Jordan Dawson joined Adelaide from Sydney. Picture: afc.com.au

IF ..

Cam Rayner is back from a serious knee injury for round one 2022 and Eric Hipwood is back from the same ailment around the mid-season break...

THEN ...

no reason the Lions won't again be top four, for a fourth consecutive season.

Brisbane's Cam Rayner (left) and Eric Hipwood celebrate a goal during round two, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

you sack some people...

THEN ...

you have to replace them. And that doesn't mean - as per the fanciful claims of new president Luke Sayers' - that the Blues are a destination club.

Carlton president Luke Sayers. Picture: carltonfc.com.au

IF ...

Graham Wright has been able to keep all football operations on track while the board has been off the rails since late last year...

THEN ...

imagine what he will do from here now that that matter seems to have been finally settled.

Graham Wright (left) and Nathan Buckley look on during the round seven, 2021 match between Collingwood and Gold Coast. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the Bombers refrain from trying to recruit contracted players from clubs which would prefer not to deal with them...

THEN ...

they might have more success in trade period. Dunkley last year, Bobby Hill this year. Mind you, given the way Adrian Dodoro has nailed the past two drafts, it won’t matter.

Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro watches on during a training session on February 18, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

player manager Col Young was bemused at the openness of Docker footy boss Peter Bell when talking about Rory Lobb's potential move back to GWS - "he (normally) uses the cone of silence during trade week", and "it sounded like he was at a church giving confession", said Young...

THEN ...

it was a feather in Bell's cap that he held firm in not budging on Lobb, and then in dealing to get Jordan Clark in with pick 22.

Fremantle's Rory Lobb talks with Travis Colyer during round 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

Cats recruiting and list boss Stephen Wells had a fiery phone call with Jordan Clark this week over that player's desire to leave and become a Docker...

THEN ...

he got over it quickly and agreed to his exit days later. And now, with picks 22, 30, 32, 34 and 41, Wells is equipped with the type of national draft hand that makes him very dangerous.

Jordan Clark in action against Greater Western Sydney in round 21 on August 6, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

IF ...

every single person connected to the Suns isn't already focused on 2022...

THEN ...

they need to be. Now. The most important year of this club's underwhelming AFL life. So much at stake for so many.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew and players look on after round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

it wasn't for the Giants trying some left-field plays (Lobb, Wingard, Breust)...

THEN ...

the 2021 Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period would've been even more underwhelming.

Hawthorn's Chad Wingard (left) and Luke Breust celebrate a goal during round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

any other organisation inside the official workings of the AFL umbrella had conducted itself in the past six months even remotely similarly to the one over which Jeff Kennett presides...

THEN ...

Jeff would be a) calling for heads, b) ridiculing how $1 million can be paid to an all-time great coach to NOT coach the club in 2022, c) almost certainly gratuitously be linking the embarrassing performances to a supposed and even imaginary "boys' club" mantra, and d) throwing around the old "poor corporate governance" phrase. Jeff, that torch you like directing at the rest of society – time to shine it back on yourself and your own club's operations.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett at the Kennedy Community Centre site in November, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

you've got nothing to do this weekend...

THEN ...

cue up the 2021 Grand Final from midway through the third quarter. Grab a drink, get comfortable on the couch, hit play. And spend the ensuing 45 minutes marvelling at the sheer quality of football. It was outstanding on the night itself, and somehow gets better with each viewing.

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IF ...

there seems to be a lot of joy about having the No.1 pick in the draft...

THEN ...

that's understandable. But hopefully no one at this club forgets that the No.1 pick in the draft only comes from being the worst team in the competition.

North Melbourne's Jack Ziebell looks dejected after a loss during round seven, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

the mountain was ultimately too high in both 2020 and 2021...

THEN ...

without anything meaningful being achieved in the Trade Period, I can’t see why the summit would be reached in 2022.

Port Adelaide's Charlie Dixon looks dejected after losing the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs on September 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

Robbie Tarrant has been in the AFL system for 14 seasons (drafted by the Roos at No.15, 2007)...

THEN ...

his 15th year, and first as a Tiger, could be the one he finally gets an All-Australian jacket. Has deserved at least one, and probably two, to this point.

North Melbourne's Robbie Tarrant in action during round 10, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

I've been critical of the Saints' Trade Period recruits in recent seasons...

THEN ...

there is nothing to be critical about this year, as there was nothing full stop. And that, too, is a problem.

St Kilda players look dejected after a loss during round 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

I understood the frustrations of Swans football boss Charlie Gardiner, and also had no problems with him airing those issues publicly, over not getting what he wanted for the loss of Jordan Dawson to Adelaide...

THEN ...

part of me also wished he hardened up and moved on. Not every player exit can result in a "fair" outcome. Thinking that it can is a major flaw in the thinking of seemingly everyone in the AFL club system. Sometimes the dealer gives you an unwinnable hand. That's real life.

Jordan Dawson ahead of Sydney's match against Hawthorn in round 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IF ...

Sam Petrevski-Seton was drafted by the Blues at No.6 in 2016 and traded for pick No.52...

THEN ...

that is a sizeable slip in value after 94 matches.

Sam Petrevski-Seton outside Eagles HQ on October 11, 2021. Picture: westcoasteagles.com.au

IF ...

he midfield is among the competition's elite...

THEN ...

the backline and forward line still have questions marks when the heat is turned up to 10.

Western Bulldogs players look dejected after losing the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the 2021 season is now run and won and the Trade Period also in the past...

THEN ...

massive focus now turns to the 2022 season, and how that will actually be structured. While clubs will know by late November how their 22 matches will look, they also already know it will be a third consecutive season of rolling fixtures.