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The Roar

Dem Panopoulos

Roar Guru

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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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

Appreciate that! Lukosius was great this season as an offensive weapon with his ball use, I completely agree. He just kept dropping off little by little towards the end of the season while the likes of Coffield and Mills either got better, or stayed at a high level. I still see him as the emerging key forward of the future, Lukosius, and cannot wait to see his development.

Ridley got his AA squad selection and ended up gaining a lot of fans as the season wore on – there’s something to say about fantasy coaches and how enamoured they are with players that seeps into everyday talk, and Ridley was one of those guys getting a cult following, which became universal by the end.

With this all prepared prior to the AA squad of 40, Ryan’s inclusion was a gut feel on him only being celebrated for his highlights rather than his actual play, but I would have looked towards Robbie Gray as next in line.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

From a purely analytical perspective (I won’t get drawn into the other fan-like discussions 😂 ), Darcy had a nice development season but wasn’t one of the most outstanding rucks going around. I think he showed really competitive signs that had only been seen on a super ad hoc basis, whereas he was able to produce it a little more consistently this season to cement his status as one of the best emerging young rucks.

O’Brien got rewarded internally with the B&F, but from the outside looking into the Crows, it’s clear he was the most vital cog in their flailing machine in 2020, keeping somewhat of a positive outlook on their team.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Thanks you for checking the piece out! McKenzie was certainly one of the first names that came to my mind, but as I drilled down further, the players listed in the team moved ahead due to their importance and impact on their teams.

It’s not to say McKenzie wasn’t great – the story of his career resurgence and cementing a spot in the best 22 after years is excellent. But he really is a beneficiary of being a good piece in an overall defensive scheme that is designed on its pieces working together as a machine. The only really outstanding player down there was Jonas, and he has been justly rewarded with media attention and a spot in the squad.

McKenzie’s actual defensive work was decent, but someone like Jack Henry was completely overlooked across the league despite his elite work, which is why the Port player missed out in my estimations.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Thanks for having a read, unfortunate timing was probably off here which accounts for Ryan’s inclusion – had been prepared prior to the announcement of the 40-man squad!

I still think there’s some sort of credit that can be given to Ryan though, and it goes along with what you’ve said. Ryan is almost exclusively lauded for the his high-flying and excitement, and the focus on his work rate and ability to set up scores is often overlooked, which is the sort of thing I love looking at.

Perhaps if we’re looking at a replacement, I would go beyond Dan Butler given he was obviously extremely stiff to miss out on the AA team and a quick look at Twitter would show you that’s a nearly universal opinion. Robbie Gray had a great season with a lot more highs than lows, so he’d sneak in.

A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players

Thank you for taking the time to read, wishing you and your beloved Sainters nothing but the best. Hopefully success is around the corner!

How the Saints dismantled the Tigers

Really good call with Ted Richards and ironically, slipped through the cracks of this article 😂

His Premiership year was well worth the ups and downs he had during his career, and goes down as a hero in Swans folklore.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Appreciate the feedback Birdman.

The reason I have JPK topping the list is that him becoming a star at Sydney was based on the fact he received immediate opportunities, where the Hawks didn’t really see him as someone worthy of being in the best 22 consistently at the point of when he was traded.

As stated, of course the Hawks are happy with how it all played out in the end with the three flags and the historical significance of that period, but Kennedy has a resume that matches the absolute elite of the competition and simply because the midfield depth was good at the time doesn’t sweep aside the fact they clearly didn’t see a whole heap in him, when in hindsight, he would’ve been better than all midfielders bar Sam Mitchell, who was a different type anyway.

That’s my reasoning, it has all worked out well in the end for both parties, but in terms of ones who slipped through the cracks through voluntary movement by the initial club, JPK is the biggest and best one.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

From memory at the time, Jenkins was keen on getting to a different club locally before the Bombers gave in and traded him to the Crows. Not sure why he gets an unfair wrap across fan bases, Jenkins’ numbers are better than what most key forwards can pull off!

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Bachar actually quit Essendon rather than the club getting rid of him, was keen to get to Richmond in the end.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Yeah the Suns would be kicking themselves that they never actually listed Zorko when he was right there for them. Hasn’t had a bad career, has he!

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Hugely underrated player in my opinion and the Saints certainly could’ve done more with the talent they had. He was one that initiated the trade to go back home, rather than being discarded by the Saints as Lynch was. It’s amazing to sheer quantity and overall quality of players that couldn’t deliver at one club and enjoyed great success elsewhere, but even moreso when the players are dumped by their initial clubs.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Nank has been great for the Tigers, particularly that 2017 season with his hunger and attack on the ball. One of the better modern day steals definitely, but he requested the trade from the Swans rather than Sydney looking to move him on, so he wasn’t included as a result.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000

Jacobs was definitely a steal and clearly made himself one of the league’s top rucks. He didn’t make the article as he requested going home to South Australia, so while the Blues had a clearly talented player they could’ve used in the future and lost, their hands were tied and were forced into making the move.

The best players that slipped through the cracks since 2000