The Roar
The Roar

Dem Panopoulos


Joined June 2018







Forever riding the sporting rollercoaster. Sucker for analysis and talking stats on 91.3 SportFM. @DemPanopoulos.



Yeah, this is pretty much it and let me tell you, it was the most difficult I’ve personally found it for a little while – I had a shortlist of around 120 plausible names that could feature and narrowed it down from there. Shows how good the quality is in our league at the moment!

The Roar's AFL top 50 players, 20-11: Big Max or Bulldogs giant - who is the AFL's best ruckman?

They struggled to show any consistency that season against top 8 teams, had some good moments, struggled a lot too.

Watching the method rather than focusing on the results, Port hasn’t truly has been a premiership contender for a long, long time.

Why the pressure is on for Michael Voss and his Blues

It’s all about expectation Don. TDK is rated extremely highly on an almost consensus basis because of his star potential, but that is very much on a theoretical level at this stage.

Those other players have specific roles to play, they’re not really all that comparable as the theory behind them doesn’t involve expectation of stardom. Pittonet is a much better actual ruckman at this stage than TDK and that’s okay, it’s not a knock on a guy who has all the tools to grow into his skyhigh potential soon.

Why the pressure is on for Michael Voss and his Blues

Those proposed targets though are cheap avenues to counteracting an average style of defending, regardless of how uninspiring the names may be comparatively to stars of the league.

Wilmot’s speed helps, Coleman is a gun, but these are all small types who sure, will help on the counter-attack, but that’s exactly the issue – Brisbane’s counter-attacking style has been great for four seasons, but the space it leaves for guys who can’t defend large areas that well is telling.

Why Brisbane is one of the biggest losers of the 2022 Trade Period

I love Dunkley, but there’s no improvement to be had with him spending time behind the ball, given he has never done it before.

His pressure around the ball is absolutely helpful and he improves the midfield, that’s not an argument I’m against.

One would suspect the impact will be letting McCluggage run deeper defensively to try help out. You need commitment from everyone though.

Why Brisbane is one of the biggest losers of the 2022 Trade Period

It’s all about looking around and seeing what’s available. I’m a massive Dunkley fan, so at no point am I suggesting when a really good midfielder wants to come, you reject them.

But dismissing some of the cheaper moves elsewhere and what they could’ve done to this team is ignoring the premise.

Everything is about intent – understanding where you’re at as a team and trying to tweak.

Acres for instance, even if the coaching staff changes nothing tactically, his tendency to push hard defensively off a wing and fill gaps in the back half as a natural method to playing the wing immediately adds a layer to the backline.

Sure, I get that suggesting fringe players from opposition clubs is hardly going to inspire confidence, but having the options to be flexible in defence really is a way to counteract average coaching.

The team doesn’t have an interceptor on the list, at all. Maybe Gunston for those couple of season, perhaps Starcevich but his defensive work is too important.

Personally, McCluggage is a definite centre square midfielder who can spread, not a wing. Hope he isn’t pigeonholed.

Ultimately, the midfield is going to be great, the forward line is functional, there’s just not enough variety personnel or tactic wise.

Why Brisbane is one of the biggest losers of the 2022 Trade Period

Thanks Charlie, that’s the idea! 🙂

Why Saturday doesn't really matter for Pat and Bud

You win some, you lose some – have covered both it seems

Preliminary finals preview: Brace yourselves for blowouts

Thanks for this one, should feature “5 times” in there!

Preliminary finals preview: Brace yourselves for blowouts

Much appreciated Scott and as a fellow avid draft follower, these are very similar to my sentiments. Realising that potential is one thing, but the skills and what we’ve seen, I don’t think enough people appreciate just how talented Rankine is.

Why Crows' move for Rankine is a no-brainer

It’s a good draft, the top midfielders are fantastic but the depth of key position players, particularly for forwards, is what will be the talk come October/November.

Why Crows' move for Rankine is a no-brainer

The piece indicates exactly why he’s not just a small forward, pretty quickly too I’d like to think.

Why Crows' move for Rankine is a no-brainer

Frampton lost 38.5% of one-on-ones in his 6 games. He’s the guy you want to have to read the play and intercept and use his skills to rebound, rather than the other way around. He’s a third guy but more than anything, a depth player until he proves otherwise.

Collingwood are keen because they’d not be using him as a guy to lockdown.

Why Crows' move for Rankine is a no-brainer

The Lions are as aggressive as they are offensively because they believe Harris Andrews is the best key defender in the league and Brandon Starcevich is the best lockdown defender amongst the other generally underrated contributors in defence.

The fact their defence hasn’t been as good this season doesn’t eliminate the notion that they pride themselves on it.

Why it's Tiger Time once again

I’d say it’s a typo but if the statement is still correct, how can I retract? 😛

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 17

Hi James, thanks for reading and your response.

The inclusion of Zerk-Thatcher now is vital to the defensive set-up and will give many a good gauge as to whether he’s up to the level.

The way 2022 has played out, Laverde (at 193cm) has far and away taken over the role of main key defender. He’s definitely undersized and he’s losing a third of every contest. Last season, he defended 3.4 one-on-ones a game and was really effective in a secondary role. This year, it’s up to 5.4 and he doesn’t apply the body pressure that a key defender needs to. I think sooner rather than later, he needs to be the third guy, or a depth player. Laverde and May are the same height, but May has nearly 10kgs on him, that’s why he can take on the massive forwards and win almost every contest.

Kelly has been awful, losing 41% of the time and playing above his weight recently. I’m really bullish on Reid, he’s one of my favourites, as is Ridley, but he can’t be tasked with defensive work – simply must be the interceptor at all times.

That Saints game is a great example of the pressure higher up the ground protecting the defenders, as you said. That’s ultimately, what the defensive success hinges on for the rest of the season, while the Bombers try and fill in list needs over the next off-season or two.

It's time to ease up on the Bombers

No, I agree that he wasn’t the reason they lost on the weekend, but the focus on him was just another example of how much they struggle when he can’t get any separation from his opponent inside the forward 50.

He played higher up the ground at times and the ball movement flowed way better.

Swans must move on from Buddy-centric forward line

Thanks Doran!

I think the value of those young guys is supreme to their respective teams – wrote about the Pies recently and tweeted later on, Daicos’ last two weeks have seen him move from peripheral yet prolific, perfectly suitable for a young star of the league, to a winning player with poise and calmness so far beyond his years that he has taken the role himself that was meant to be the captain.

In saying that, they’re a while away from competition recognition, but they play the sort of game that would get rewarded in the future, when their teams are better too. Tough position to crack into the AA, but you’d be so happy as a Hawthorn or Collingwood supporter.

The All-Australian candidates no-one is talking about

The 4-game block in this context is about proving whether the Tigers are in the hunt as a competitive finals team, or if they’ve been fortunate with the draw, rather than as simple as making finals or not.

No worse off for top 8 chances after tonight necessarily.

The Tigers have four weeks to answer one question: Are they any good?

Don, hope you’re well! Let’s not forget the other 35+ Dockers that are on the list, don’t want anyone to feel excluded 😁
Young is certainly top five in my eyes.

The Tigers have four weeks to answer one question: Are they any good?

Thanks for the feedback, Warner may have been an editorial error. Dawson is the best kick in the AFL, that’s the comparison – nothing to do with which clubs they play for. Hope you enjoyed the piece.

The Tigers have four weeks to answer one question: Are they any good?

The degenerative hip issue looks like it has set in unfortunately which is really disappointing for a player who has offered so much under the radar.

The Tigers have four weeks to answer one question: Are they any good?

I appreciate the feedback from a supporter and share the same analytical sentiments you’ve shared. The run home is where the attention will be directed, if Chris Scott has played this the right way, we’ll see how dangerous the tactically-rounded Cats may well be. Cause for optimism, as the piece would indicate 😁

Don't be fooled, this is the best Geelong team we've seen in years

You’re right, statistics can be used in many ways – they were used to indicate the positives and negatives of how Geelong are playing this season in this piece. And I’ve covered and predicted many things for Sydney and Fremantle already in pieces this season, so you won’t get disputes from me.

A new style from Geelong and for these veterans is intriguing and can be damaging in the second half of the season if Scott blends tactics together well. It’s a slightly longer-term play than we’re used to from Geelong, but some sort of change was necessary, we can all agree on that – I’ve held the same “drop-off” sentiment for a few years too due to the same tactics being deployed.

Don't be fooled, this is the best Geelong team we've seen in years

My feeling is that they’ll be on the fringes of the top eight at their bye, whether that 6-6, 7-5, I don’t know. The second half of the season is when everything is hypothetically meant to click with the blending of game styles, so we’re a while off final judgement yet despite the consensus opinions here!

Don't be fooled, this is the best Geelong team we've seen in years