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The Roar

Dem Panopoulos

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Joined June 2018

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Forever riding the sporting rollercoaster of emotions. Write for the AFL Record and share some thoughts on 91.3 SportFM. Twitter: @dempanopoulos

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McDermott’s is simply a name no one has really expected to emerge, which is why it will be super important to watch him carry his form into future cricket. No doubt we have time to see how he goes deeper into the season, but it’s looking really good at the moment and his name is right there!

Why Ben McDermott is the player the selectors want to pick

His form this season is far beyond anything he has previously produced, which is exactly what the selectors have been waiting for. A player’s overall record is only important if he maintains that style for a long period of time – they have been waiting for McDermott’s output to become consistent and dangerous, which is what this season has provided.

Why Ben McDermott is the player the selectors want to pick

UPDATE 10/12/20:

Jack Wildermuth called up to the Australia A squad to replace Moises Henriques. Opens up the door for James Bazley or Xavier Bartlett.

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

UPDATED FIRST GAME XI PREDICTIONS:

Adelaide Strikers vs Hobart (13 Dec): 1. Matthew Renshaw, 2. Jake Weatherald (c), 3. Matt Short, 4. Harry Nielsen (wk), 5. Jono Wells, 6. Liam Scott, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Peter Siddle, 9. Danny Briggs, 10. Daniel Worrall, 11. Wes Agar

Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars (11 December): 1. Max Bryant, 2. Sam Heazlett, 3. Chris Lynn (c), 4. Dan Lawrence, 5. Tom Cooper, 6. Jimmy Peirson (wk), 7. Simon Milenko, 8. Jack Wildermuth 9. Morne Morkel, 10. Ben Laughlin, 11. Matt Kuhnemann

Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Sixers (10 December): 1. D’Arcy Short, 2. Will Jacks, 3. Peter Handscomb (c) (wk), 4. Caleb Jewell , 5. Colin Ingram, 6. Mac Wright, 7. James Faulkner, 8. Johan Botha, 9. Nathan Ellis, 10. Scott Boland, 11. Riley Meredith

Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorchers (12 December): 1. Aaron Finch (c), 2. Sam Harper (wk), 3. Shaun Marsh, 4. Rilee Rossouw, 5. Beau Webster, 6. Benny Howell, 7. Jack Prestwidge, 8. Kane Richardson, 9. Cameron Boyce, 10. Josh Lalor, 11. Noor Ahmad

Melbourne Stars vs Brisbane Heat (11 December): 1. Marcus Stoinis, 2. Andre Fletcher 3. Nick Larkin, 4. Glenn Maxwell (c), 5. Hilton Cartwright, 6. Seb Gotch (wk), 7. Nathan Coulter-Nile, 8. Adam Zampa, 9. Dilbar Hussain, 10. Zahir Khan, 11. Billy Stanlake

Perth Scorchers vs vs Melbourne Renegades (12 December): 1. Josh Inglis (wk), 2. Sam Whiteman, 3. Colin Munro, 4. Joe Clarke, 5. Mitch Marsh (c), 6. Ashton Turner, 7. Aaron Hardie, 8. Jhye Richardson, 9. Matt Kelly, 10. Andrew Tye, 11. Fawad Ahmed

Sydney Sixers vs Hobart Hurricanes (10 December): 1. Josh Phillipe (wk), 2. James Vince, 3. Daniel Hughes, 4. Jack Edwards, 5. Jordan Silk (c), 6. Dan Christian, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Ben Dwarshuis, 9. Steve O’Keefe, 10. Gurinder Sandhu, 11. Lloyd Pope

Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars (12 December): 1. Alex Hales, 2. Usman Khawaja (c), 3. Callum Ferguson, 4. Matthew Gilkes (wk), 5. Ben Cutting, 6. Alex Ross, 7. Daniel Sams, 8. Chris Green, 9. Arjun Nair, 10. Brendan Doggett, 11. Adam Milne

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

SQUAD CHANGES AS AT 10/12/2020:

Adelaide Strikers

IN: Ryan Gibson (temporary replacement player for Travis Head)
OUT: Cameron White (assistant coach)

Brisbane Heat

IN: Simon Milenko (temporary replacement player for Marnus Labuschagne), Jack Wood (temporary replacement player for Mitch Swepson), Lachy Pfeffer (temporary replacement player for Joe Burns), Jack Sinfield (temporary replacement player for Lewis Gregory), Connor Sully (injury replacement for Matthew Willans)
OUT: Tom Banton (fatigue)

Hobart Hurricanes

IN: Johan Botha (temporary replacement player for Tim Paine), Charlie Wakim (temporary replacement player for Matthew Wade), Caleb Jewell (temporary replacement player for Mitch Owen)

Melbourne Stars

IN: Dilbar Hussain (international – full season), Andre Fletcher (international – available until January 26), Liam Hatcher
OUT: Jonny Bairstow (England duty)

Melbourne Renegades

IN: Imad Wasim (international – available after Christmas), Benny Howell (international replacement player for Mohammad Nabi – first two matches), Brody Couch (temporary replacement player for Marcus Harris, Peter Hatzoglou (temporary replacement player for Will Sutherland)

Perth Scorchers

IN: Liam Guthrie (temporary replacement player for Cameron Green), Corey Rocchiccioli (temporary replacement player for Ashton Agar)

Sydney Sixers

IN: Jake Ball (international – available after Christmas), Jason Holder (international – last three games of December), Tom Rogers (temporary replacement player for Sean Abbott), Lawrence Neil-Smith (temporary replacement player for Jackson Bird), Gurinder Sandhu (temporary replacement player for Mitch Starc), Nick Bertus (temporary replacement player for Nathan Lyon), Justin Avendano (injury replacement for Mickey Edwards)

OUT: Tom Curran (fatigue)

Sydney Thunder

No changes

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

WRITER’S NOTE:

– Renegades have signed Imad Wasim, a top 10 bowler in T20i, and their fifth spinner.

– Wasim is available after Christmas

– Wasim helps cover the middle order gap at the Renegades, meaning they won’t have to rely on Sutherland’s batting at seven.

– Clear tactic they continue to go with, signing another spinner, the Renegades continue to stockpile in a bid for a top five spot in a tight competition.

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

WRITER’S NOTE 2.0:

– The Stars have confirmed this morning that Jonny Bairstow will be unavailable

– The Stars have signed West Indian Andre Fletcher as his replacement. 33 years of age with 4891 runs at an average of 27 in 200 T20s, Fletcher will be available until January 26.

– It’s a downgrade on Bairstow, but Fletcher will bring great experience to the top order, which already features some powerful hitting.

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

WRITER’S NOTE:

– Jason Holder has signed for the Sydney Sixers for the three game stretch between December 20 and 29.

– Dilbur Hussain has re-signed for the entire season with the Stars. Fights with Lance Morris for the final spot in the XI, and does not impact the outlook of the Stars overall.

– There are rumours that Jonny Bairstow may receive an unexpected Test recall for England in January, which would rule him out of the BBL. This is unconfirmed but would be a huge loss to the Stars.

The ultimate BBL10 season preview

The issue I have with the comparison is that professional wrestling and amateur wrestling are two separate entities, whereas T20 exists under the umbrella of cricket, as do Test and One Dayers.

WWE and its competitors are billed as sports entertainment, built on the narratives, storylines and engaging audiences as per dramas or soap operas, when focused on television, which justifies the need for being revolutionary and extravagant given the creative freedom involved.

CA has gone one-out here and is treating T20 as pure entertainment, separating it from what the format is around the world. It just feels too gimmicky, particularly given the directive seems to be creating a more engaging and free-flowing product, rather than to completely drag away from what we know about cricket.

The infatuation with making big changes just doesn’t sit well and is often misguided. CA making a lot of money out of these changes would be tough, as I simply don’t see all three being overly engaging – the extra international players would have done that.

I love the BBL but it drags on and I see that as being the biggest obstacle – creating a more concentrated and involved competition with a larger variety of players should be enough to make some sort of difference. That should be done before anything outrageous.

BBL gimmicks show Cricket Australia missed the memo

Initially, the article was going to look at the players 25 years and younger, but we were entering short novel territory length-wise 😂

I tend to agree, I really like Kelly and his approach to bowling. In a time where fast bowlers try and stand out with sheer pace and bowling themselves into the ground, or slower guys try and make the most of swing, Kelly is that consistent presence that generally asks questions of the batsmen.

He has a good Shield record but my the most lasting impression I have of him has come in coloured clothing, even if he is a bowler that can be attacked. I think his style of bowling isn’t completely dissimilar to Josh Hazlewood’s – different action but the same method of attack. He’s a good one to watch that has come on strongly since debuting relatively late.

Breaking down the young talent in Australian cricket

Many thanks, really appreciate that feedback!

Breaking down the young talent in Australian cricket

SK Warne is quite the excitable type, isn’t he? Meredith was part of that larger list of names included for the English tour group, I think people tend to be enamoured by height and pace more than anything in recent times. Meredith’s numbers aren’t great in the two formats he represents Tasmania in, so if he has to play for Australia in the coming couple of years, I’d insist on it being only in T20 cricket.

Breaking down the young talent in Australian cricket

Thank you, there’s bound to be a player or two missed on this list and I’m more than happy to follow it up in the comments section. Funnily enough, Harper is one of the ones that turns 24 just a few weeks after the article, so sneaks in!

Sam Harper (Victoria) – 23 years old

Harper is one of the exciting young talents who has proven to be extremely damaging in the BBL, for the Melbourne Renegades. A top-order position provides him with the best opportunity to take advantage of fielding restrictions and use his intelligent movement around the crease to manipulate the opposition. Averages of 21.9 in First Class cricket and 21.4 in the one-day formats will improve as his opportunities increase, but he needs prove that his game is adaptable to multiple situations, coming in at six.

Future prospects: Harper’s another one to follow closely, particularly in the Big Bash League where he is extremely exciting to watch. A couple of consistent and prolific seasons (health prevailing) could open up new doors for him.

Breaking down the young talent in Australian cricket

Freeing up a bit of money and the emergence of Josh Daicos makes the potential Phillips move understandable, even though I like what he offers. WHE should have value, I really like his work rate and ability to be a linking player – I think as he has played more games, he has worked into the sort of Tom T Lynch role, with obviously a greater marking ability. I’d keep him.

Sier is obviously the best of that lot, and I think he should have a role in this team but a mix of frustration and a potential market (Essendon?) could see him tradeable, but he’s the type Collingwood needs to keep.

I’ll quickly give an opinion on the others:

Wills – limited player, but if list sizes were big enough he can be insurance in the “break glass in case of emergency” mould.

Max Lynch – no state league footy for the year elongates that development process and there’s still a lot to go, not sure he’d make the cut.

Appleby – I like him and now he has added the forward string to his bow, he has greater appeal to the team. I would personally sign him up and if WHE were to be traded, that’s a potential spot.

Wilson – has another year to fit in and turn the raw attributes into something, VFL would be beneficial of course

Tohill – looks talented and a step forward in development would push him into AFL contention sooner rather than later

Keane – got the game against Fremantle and probably needs some continuity and confidence before stepping up regularly. Like him.

Bosenavulagi – the debut was really exciting, think he showed in juniors he’s probably more suited to that half-forward flank role higher up inside 50 where he can really put the pressure on opposition rebounders and close down space, rather than as a traditional goal sneak.

Breaking down the Magpies in 2020

I think he could definitely play spurts in the midfield as he has that all-round style that would be an asset, but watching him through juniors and his first 15-odd games, I’d put all my stocks into him off half-back and to become one of the top options in the league. His defensive work really is the type that will go unnoticed (think it will be as underrated as Adam Saad currently), and that level of kicking out of defense is excellent.

In terms of players currently on the list who can be moulded, perhaps the best left-field option may be Trey Ruscoe. He was always a true utility in juniors which is probably why he went a little later in the draft and while he isn’t a guaranteed success, he has that competitiveness and fire along with the size that could be shaped into an inside mid.

In terms of an extra user off half-back to launch the ball, particularly if injury were to strike at some stage, I wouldn’t be totally against sending Jaidyn Stephenson to the defensive side of a wing and let him grab the ball in space and use his speed and long kicking.

Breaking down the Magpies in 2020

If I was a Collingwood supporter, I’d be begging the club to put the ball in the hands of Quaynor more to use in that sort of role. He had the highest disposal efficiency of any Magpie this season, and I think he’s just as good at carrying the ball and sending it long, as he is with the deft little kicks into the corridor.

Maynard made a few mistake deep in defensive 50 at the end of the season, but it doesn’t take away his excellent long-range kicking. If he’s on that defensive 50 line and attacking the ball higher up the ground as he was many times, much like the comparison to Hodge earlier, he’ll kick it 60 metres to a target inside 50 – it’s just a matter of getting someone like Wright who can offer that nice piece alongside the talented lead-up players.

Breaking down the Magpies in 2020

Thanks Peter, much appreciated!

Breaking down the Magpies in 2020

I think the main thing is the spacing these two provide, and only getting half a season out of both, particularly on an ad hoc basis for Treloar, was really detrimental. Those two were huge over the last two seasons based on the efficiency going forward, which as stated, really went backwards with the slow ball movement.

Think Collingwood has two really good users in Maynard and Quaynor in being able to carve the opposition with long range kicking, so exploiting that is more important. The sneaky Brander move, while unlikely, would add another weapon. Even just asking the question of Alex Witherden would be interesting, but with Maynard, Quaynor, Howe and Moore, there’s enough there.

Breaking down the Magpies in 2020

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, absolutely Darcy can get more credit than he universally receives, but I think we do need to take a little step back.

He’s 22 and has plenty of room to grow, which makes him on track to be that vital cog I was mentioning. I think Freo fans have every right to claim him as the best young ruck, as Essendon fans would with Draper, and Bulldogs fans with English.

Having watched all of Fremantle’s games, his body positioning and ability to create space in ruck contests isn’t lost on me – definitely was a key reason as to the team’s good output through the middle when the stars were out.

But top 5, he is not. The tackles per game are actually average bordering on the below side for a ruck, and statistically he is completely outmatched by, say an O’Brien. But I’m not naive enough to base a ruckman purely on stats, which is why this isn’t a clear differentiable.

Darcy will be a top 5 ruck as he continues to grow into the role more consistently both within games and across the season, which will come with added fitness. Given there’s only one spot in this team for a ruckman, it goes to ROB for the outstanding efforts of this season but Darcy took a step forward and you, along with other Freo fans, should be delighted with his work.

I really look forward to seeing how he, Draper and English in particular develop a polite rivalry as the next generation of rucks, alongside Luke Jackson and potential Tom De Koning.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Absolute Rotham took a step forward this year, I really like him. I’ve already earmarked him on socials as the Jordan Ridley breakout of 2021, another big step forward will do the Eagles a world of good!

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

I think it’s an indictment on him and Fremantle to suggest anything other than there were signs and he’s scratching the surface – the fact he rates highly in stats is nice but not a true indication of the service he provides, which is maybe a little above average. My hope is that he continues to improve his tank this off-season, as that will turn him into a top 7 ruck immediately.

Remember, he only averaged 1.7 tackles, and less than two marks a game. Getting back that ferocity of his first couple of seasons and maybe finding himself in some open space will only make him a multi-faceted asset going forward – look at that game against McEvoy and the Hawks for what I think could be a sustainable future. And I am a big fan of Darcy, lots of shares in him from draft time and promoting his value, so he certainly hasn’t been overlooked in my books.

My being bullish on Fremantle for the last couple of seasons is built on the key players, of which Darcy should be one!

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

I never saw him as an option for this team because, quite frankly, he should have been in the All-Australian team and this is an opinion almost universally shared, particularly post-team announcement in articles and on social media. I wouldn’t say he flew under the radar in the end because once the season came to its conclusion, it was obvious Sam Menegola was one of the best performers on the wing in 2020, and his rebound from injury has been spectacular.

Thanks for reading!

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

It’s a good call, Daniels’ impact goes beyond scoreboard, although he was able to add that as the season wore on. The connection between the wing and the attacking 50 was at time disjointed at the Giants (although not their biggest issue), but Daniels acts as a good conduit between the two.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Love the work of Baker, an absolute favourite at the Tigers for his cleanliness and tenacity. The team is much better with him in it!

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Took a nice step forward this season, but we didn’t see enough of him in the natural intercepting role – by the time Caleb Graham established himself in the season, Ballard had already played so much as a key defender.

I think Ballard gets a small mark down in my books because of his one-on-one defensive deficiencies, which were exploited at times. He should be sitting as the intercept defender going forward in a Nick Haynes-mould, perhaps slightly more attacking and pushing onto the wing as well.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players