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.



Poorly worded on my part, was referring to the premiership medal.

The startling evolution that has Nick Daicos' inexplicably long list of haters all eating crow

Thanks Don, it’s an interesting take you have – no one was higher than me on the Saints this season and having watched every game, I personally think their default being a deliberate, side-to-side uncontested style of use when under pressure is pretty uninspiring. When they move it as they can, with the talent they’ve got, they’re good to watch. Cliche or otherwise, this team has the potential right now to be exciting and often, are not.

With or without Weitering, the Saints need to splurge to stay relevant. Here's who they should chase

Sorry Don, Cottrell kicked the goal, the one that put them in front and ended up contributing to winning the match, probably the moment people associate with him.

Spent plenty of time the next day on air and the entire week praising Fremantle – saying Cottrell’s moment was “match winning” neither praises Carlton, nor does it denigrate the Dockers.

Forget Cripps, Curnow and Walsh - the unsung Blues heroes driving Carlton's premiership push

They’re certainly not playing like a comfortable top eight team when you look at the numbers and their style! But for me, they’ll look a lot better in about a month and they’re one of the few clubs in my mind that can win the flag, it’s just a matter of putting it together – I don’t have the two top eight teams you refer to as genuine finalists so I’m excited for the next month of footy!

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions, Anzac Round: Who takes the biscuits on the season's longest weekend?

Nothing!! Was pumping them up in 2018 trying to get people onboard at the time for the future, they’re just not playing their best footy at the moment and given the Lions’ potential, it’s not unfair to expect a lot more.

Coaching remains an issue of the last couple of years and goes a little unnoticed.

The data says Brisbane are a flag contender - but the eye test tells a completely different story

I agree largely that it’s a good ideal, but there’s a different I reckon between playing young talent and young blokes. Very few clubs have got anywhere by playing younger guys for the sake of playing younger guys, particularly so early into the season. Sanders is obviously a good call to get games into, Gallagher for instance, makes a bit of sense hypothetically. A few others in their early 20s that are coasting along, not so sure.

'Stuck in quicksand': The Bulldogs are lost in mid-table mediocrity again - and something's got to give soon

Hadn’t seen Bevo’s comments about Naughton but the switch has felt pretty obvious and I think, the right thing to do. Having your best contested mark higher up also allows for the outlet option when kicking long to the pack, increasing the chance at retention. He had to do something, and I liked that move.

The thing I’d say on Daniel, which is obviously correct and the elephant in the room with the talent across half-back the Dogs have had for years, is that the current rebounding cohort, I’d argue, aren’t any better defensively in sticking their tackles or putting themselves in position.

Personally, Daniel’s offensive skills are so well suited to the current retentive style of play and for his defensive downfalls, he knows where the holes are to at least put a body in there – JJ and Bramble aren’t any better, at least Dale can sometimes use his reach. Particularly the former Hawk I guess if the other two aren’t going to be in any trouble, Daniel’s skillset is just so much better for this style.

I like O’Donnell, I thought he really developed once he settled in defence in the back-half of the season and is clearly the second best pure key defender, freeing up Khamis.

'Stuck in quicksand': The Bulldogs are lost in mid-table mediocrity again - and something's got to give soon

I wouldn’t say “often” that good teams lose their best defender and adjust well, although I agree that it’s an indicator of the very best.

But even the Magpies in the Grand Final, they had to defend a bit differently when Murphy went down and they were struggling at times, particularly as the game went on. That 15 minute final quarter patch from the Lions where they were on the front foot were nervy times for ‘Pies supporters I’m sure!

But then I think of Vlastuin in the 2020 GF and sometimes, in the biggest games, the willpower of a group takes over from tactics alone. Interesting case study, still harder than anything to execute tactical shifts when losing the best defender I think.

'Disproportionate reaction': Forget the doomsayers - Sydney's shock loss to Richmond means absolutely nothing

Bit misleading, they’re middle of the pack in points conceded per game and defence is about the process, particularly this early on given raw numbers sometimes don’t tell the full story. I think they’re starting to nail down their process.

I agree with your point on Longmire, rare we see such evolution under the one coach who’s adapting to the game and trying to get a bunch of moving tactical pieces to fit together like a puzzle. That use of Heeney will be the main thing I keep an eye on, as well as Mills’ positioning in the defensive half. They’re the key factors that can unlock a complete team, as you said.

'Disproportionate reaction': Forget the doomsayers - Sydney's shock loss to Richmond means absolutely nothing

Club’s opinion Don, not my personal one, you’d know I’ve been one of the bigger non-supporter advocates of your mob!

Richmond must embrace rebuild or risk getting 'mired in mediocrity' - here's how they can do it

Thilthorpe’s a big loss, I’m extremely high on his potential. To me, there’s no reason why they can’t look at the structural idea of McKay/Curnow with Thilthorpe/Fogarty, which makes the reliance on Walker a little more difficult.

Credit to him on his career renaissance, and for sure without RT there he’s needed again, but this is meant to be the time to shift these veterans into “cherry on top” types, not the be all and end all. I want to see Fogarty kicking more goals than him this year and being the singular most targeted player in that attack.

The Crows have shown faith - now Matthew Nicks must repay them with bolder, braver coaching

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