Home > AFL > Sliding Doors: IF the fantasy was Grand Final day last year … THEN – AFL

Sliding Doors: IF the fantasy was Grand Final day last year … THEN – AFL

WITH the AFL season back in action, Sliding Doors is hitting its straps. 

So what’s Damo saying about your club? What’s he saying about the AFL? Check it out.

IF …

it was Hugh Greenwood last week with a big reminder to the Crows of the talent they once had on their books, after Mark Ricciuto ridiculously went public …

THEN …

it’s the turn of Lions Charlie Cameron, Jarryd Lyons and maybe Cam Ellis-Yolmen this weekend.

IF …

Lachie Neale is getting all the public acclaim in the Lions’ midfield …

THEN …

privately, the plaudits are being equally offered to Hugh McCluggage. Elite ball user.

IF …

Harry McKay ever gets a sustained crack at playing … 

THEN …

he might become the player the Blues expected when they took him at 10 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. But he just can’t get any meaningful flow, bruised ribs keeping him out against the Bombers on Saturday night.

 

IF …

you view the Bulldogs-Richmond-St Kilda performances of the second-placed Pies against the Suns-Crows-Dockers form line of top-placed Port Adelaide …

THEN …

it is only on the ladder that Pies are inferior. Clearly, the best performed team from the albeit small body of 2020 work.

IF …

there is a learning the entire footy industry, including some facets of media, must take out of the Conor McKenna COVID-19 positive test

THEN …

it is to establish all facts before a) rushing to condemn and b) “revealing” which and how many players would also “definitely” miss matches.

IF …

there’s something that never ceases to bring a smile … 

THEN …

it is a kid being told he’s earned the right to play his first game of AFL footy. Caleb Serong, the No.8 pick in last year’s national draft, beautifully happy that he gets to debut on Saturday night, against a couple of other gun kids from last year’s draft, Rowell and Anderson.

IF …

Jack Steven was among the extended Cats team to play Melbourne on Thursday night …

THEN …

 it will be interesting to see if he’s officially part of the 22 when it is named Friday night. A torrid COVID-19 shutdown period, and looked at sea in his Geelong debut last weekend.

 

IF …

Lachie Weller wore a lot of heat for the Suns parting with pick two to secure his services from the Dockers …

THEN …

his form in 2020 has reduced that temperature to lukewarm. Making very nice progress, clearly benefitting from the ability and stability around him.

IF …

Toby and Josh are among the ins, and Lachie has been passed fit to play …

THEN …

there are zero excuses for what happens against the Pies at Giants Stadium tonight. Embarrassed themselves last week on a number of fronts. A key 2020 moment looms.

IF …

the man himself is now resting in peace … 

THEN …

John Kennedy’s grace, humility and class live forever. Along with his iconic “don’t think, don’t hope, do”.

IF …

Simon Goodwin had a private moment last weekend and let out an almighty scream … 

THEN …

no one could begrudge him displaying that frustration. The Demons the unfortunate big loser from the Conor McKenna situation.

IF …

plenty of air had been pumped into the North bubble after a come-from-behind win against the Saints and a big victory against the Giants … 

THEN …

it burst against the Swans in round three. Big chance to repair the tear on Sunday night, versus the Hawks.

IF …

the unbeaten opening to 2020 has been outstanding and the 16th-placed team awaits them in round four …

THEN …

the Power wouldn’t want to be complacent. West Coast might just be over its ridiculous woe-is-us attitude stemming from the need to be in a Gold Coast hub, and is certainly overdue to ignite its year. 

IF …

the fantasy was Grand Final day last year … 

THEN …

the reality was Thursday night team selection this week. Out: Pickett. He’s overcome far more adversity in his life than senior team omission, but this year has been a football reality check on so many levels.

IF …

the win against the Dogs in round two was very impressive …

THEN …

the loss last week to Collingwood was woeful. Saints don’t need to win against the Tigers on Saturday, but they do need to show backbone and substance.

IF …

one player kicks four of an embarrassing team-total five goals in a match of footy …

THEN …

even with shortened quarters, there are very obvious problems. And there’s very little flair. Papley a Swans standout against the Dogs.

IF …

I was critical of Adam Simpson’s public bemoaning of his team being stuck in the Gold Coast hub … 

THEN …

his acknowledgment this week that he should have left the public work to others at the club was typical Simpson class. Reckon they’ll upset Port on Saturday.

IF …

you lose your dominant big forward before quarter-time and another key component of the forward line for half a game … 

THEN …

beating the Swans at the SCG was way, way better than even the 28-point margin made it look. My footy love of Bailey Smith grows by the quarter, and the Dogs’ season now nicely back on track. Nervous worries on Naughton and Lloyd, though.

AND THIS ONE’S FOR THE AFL

IF …

the MCG can’t be at full capacity and if proper, big-picture, and fair analysis isn’t given to taking the Grand Final this year to another state …

THEN …

it is just plain wrong and will, in the eyes of the eight non-Victorian organisations, confirm a Victorian bias.