IT'S BACK ... Damian Barrett's Sliding Doors has returned for 2022 and no one and NO CLUB is safe.

So put your seatbelt on and enjoy the ride as Damo takes off the gloves and takes aim at your team.

So what is he saying about your club? What's he saying about the AFL? You can't say that, Damo, can you?

>> CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BARRETT  

IF ...

most of the pre-season was consumed by the Jason Horne-Francis v Nick Daicos first-season debate ...

THEN ...

the conversation now has a third name. Josh Rachele. Five goals on debut, three in game four. And as much presence as the other two.

01:21 Mins
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NAB AFL Rising Star: Josh Rachele stars in round four

Watch the highlights and find out why Josh Rachele gets the NAB AFL Rising Star in Rd4

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IF ..

the Joe Daniher goals-per-game sequence since round 15 last year goes like this: 4, 2, 1, 3, 3, 1, 4, 3, 4, 0, 1, 4, 2, 3, 3, 4 ...

THEN ...

only Tom Hawkins is near him in the same stretch. Another big game on Thursday night, against the Pies. Has become THE key to this team, which is why they recruited him, of course.

00:52 Mins
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Coast-to-coast Lions footy ends in Daniher's long bomb

Flashy ball movement from the Lions finishes in this Joe Daniher special from outside 50m

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IF ...

there's a lot of sayings in footy that don't make sense to me ...

THEN ...

"minor hamstring" is near the top of the list. Patty Cripps supposedly has one, and will apparently miss only this weekend's match against Port. Let's see.

IF ...

you look at the CV ...

THEN ...

Jordan De Goey has only just turned 26. If he finally stays footy-focused, can still be a great. And if he maintains the impactful form (four goals) of Thursday night against the Lions, will be able to demand $1 million a year from rival clubs in the very next free agency offerings. And the Pies won't be able to go near that, given their commitments.

IF ...

the Bombers appear to have absolutely nailed the 2020 national draft ...

THEN ...

I hope we get to see what the 2021 draft will bring on Sunday. Ben Hobbs, an inside-midfielder taken at No.13 last year, named on an extended bench against Fremantle. 

02:03 Mins
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VFL Showreel, R2: Ben Hobbs highlights

Enjoy Ben Hobbs's standout VFL performance for Essendon

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IF ...

Jaymie Graham never again coaches a senior AFL team ...

THEN ...

he will "retire" with a perfect record. Three from three as a stand-in, one at the Eagles in a premiership year (2018), rounds three and four this season at the Dockers. Has booked himself a place among the next batch of senior coach interviews.

IF ...

the Cats were able to beat the Lions without three-time Therabody AFL All-Australian Tom Stewart ...

THEN ...

they will easily handle the Hawks with him.

IF ...

I doubted the Suns would defeat the Blues last weekend ...

THEN ...

I was wrong. I doubt their credentials again this week, against St Kilda. But having said that, there's no reason they can't win if they bring the same level of commitment.

IF ...

the Giants have now lost three of the four matches missed by the suspended Toby Greene ...

THEN ...

no reason that won't become four of five defeats, given the Demons await on Saturday night. A brain fade which contributed to his team's season ending in a semi-final last year, and which never allowed it to properly get going in 2022.

IF ...

he's only got 27 games behind him ...

THEN ...

the mind boggles about what Changkuoth Jiath might have achieved by the time there's 127 on his resume.

IF ...

the younger two members of the superstar trio at Melbourne had started 2022 slightly better than Maxxy ...

THEN ...

he caught up in round four with one of his top-shelfers, against the Power. Oliver, Petracca, Gawn the trifecta placings in the Demons' best and fairest in last year's flag season. One of the three has won the past six B&Fs.

IF ...

coaches these days barely bother with drastic positional changes either before or during games ...

THEN ...

great to see David Noble try an old-school ploy, and move his regular back Jack Ziebell to the forward line last week. It nearly worked, too. Five goals and some score assists against the Swans nearly led to what would have been the clubhouse leader for shock win of the year.

IF ...

a couple of All-Australians, four-timer Robbie Gray and Aliir Aliir, finally return ...

THEN ...

that's a potential game-changer for the only winless team. But there is now no wiggle room on finals prospects.

IF ...

Marlion Pickett's first AFL game was a Grand Final win and his 20th game another Grand Final win ...

THEN ...

his 42nd match, against the Western Bulldogs last weekend, was one of his best. Still improving, at 30.

IF ...

Jade Gresham gets a fair crack at this footy caper after two injury-ruined seasons ...

THEN ...

he will be All-Australian at some stage, and maybe even this year.

00:35 Mins
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Gresham piles pain on wayward Hawks

St Kilda star Jade Gresham kicks a classy snap to extend the Saints' lead

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IF ...

the Cats did it in round four with Joel Selwood ...

THEN ...

the Swans have followed suit, resting their own great Josh Kennedy from the Good Friday match against West Coast. Smart management.

IF ...

your surname is Cripps ...

THEN ...

it's unfortunate that you’re not even the highest-profile one in the comp. And also unfortunate that even on the weekend you're about to play a milestone 200th game that there have been virtually no headlines, compared with the two others – Lachie Neale and Jeremy Howe – who also reached that feat in round five. But all this actually sums up Jamie Cripps. The ultimate under-rated gun. He wouldn’t want it any other way. And Eagles supporters love him.

IF ...

the first four games of 2022 have been so-so at best ...

THEN ...

the next seven are going to produce a lot of wins. Roos on Good Friday, then Crows, Bombers, Power. They'll balance the ledger pretty quickly.

AND THIS ONE'S FOR THE AFL

IF ...

the umpire says, 'stand' ...

THEN ...

stand! It really isn't that hard. It's actually a fantastic rule.