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.



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

Absolutely appreciate such feedback, thank you!

And truthfully, I absolutely love Wilkie’s efforts and extracted the 2021 season data for his efforts – a matter of wrong column on my part. He’s defending less contests than last year and while he continues to rotate through talls and small a, his percentage is so far improved.

One of the great finds in modern recruitment!

Cool the flag talk, the Saints aren't even guaranteed finalists just yet

Thank you!! 😊

The best player in the AFL might not be who you think

Just wanted to outline that this piece at no stage wrote the team off, but merely highlighted what was going wrong in the first three games and suggesting change was needed, otherwise the team would be in strife.

Noble had the group playing a different style against the Swans and they looked far more competitive, which should be the very least of the expectations expected of North in 2022. I look forward to seeing them back it up on Good Friday!

Why we should be concerned about North Melbourne

Having watched the games, they’ve been really bad in all of them, it’s just a scale of bad-to-horrible with only a few good moments. Some absences, yes, but the style is a big step backwards.

Results don’t bother me for young teams, but the way they play certainly does.

Why we should be concerned about North Melbourne

Top 8 would be a stellar effort! If it done through playing the kids and developing the youth, I’ll have front-row seats to the bandwagon and love every second of it!

Why Collingwood will claim the 2022 wooden spoon

I assume your search into the last 5 results would’ve shown that 2 of those wooden spooners lost by 3 points or less in Round 1, and the Lions won their first game in 2017, just so we’re not factually horrendous again!
Winning against a St Kilda team that is mediocre at best is an interesting point in the season to call it a fait accompli, and despite entering Round 2 likely favourites against the Crows, I’m just going to wait a little longer personally – especially given one of Hawthorn and North Melbourne will have a win after the first round too 😊
Hopefully the Pies come out and have the kids playing prominent positions and it leads to plenty of wins, that’s certainly my hope given my positive thoughts on the youth of this team!

Why Collingwood will claim the 2022 wooden spoon

Hi Colin, thanks for the feedback and certainly reading the piece!

I do love analytical debate and responses, although perhaps I feel as though our definitions of “gutter journalism” are a little off.

Highlighting the young talent on the list and the fact McRae is definitely the right man to take charge of a group that can be dangerous and flexible going forward certainly seemed positive when I was writing it!

It’s possible to outline the reality of what happened at the club and an opinion that they’ll struggle without it being “Collingwood bashing”, but that’s what’s great about writing and I very much enjoy these spirited, analytical debates 😊

Why Collingwood will claim the 2022 wooden spoon

Last Feb when I wrote the Dees we’re a flag contender, you thought it far-fetched too, Pete. At least give me a few weeks this time! 😂

I do hope the young players get given an opportunity and deliver handsomely, so you won’t have me barracking against it at all if it works out that way

Why Collingwood will claim the 2022 wooden spoon

And I’ll tell you what, I’m certainly a fan of the appointment! 😁

How a hot start will anchor the Dockers' September hopes

I’ll study up Micko 😂

The Melbourne Demons are a genuine flag contender

Appreciate it Billy and by the looks of your picture, a warm congratulations to you!

The Melbourne Demons are a genuine flag contender

They lost in straight sets in 2019, so this is their second straight sets exit. 2020 was not.

What if the Lions suffer another straight sets exit?

Yeah that’s a fair point, already wrote this piece on the Cats a few weeks back though so couldn’t double down!

What if the Lions suffer another straight sets exit?

No, it’s a straight sets exit when they lose two finals in a row, as they did in 2019. Ended up alright for the Tiges last year!

What if the Lions suffer another straight sets exit?

Yep! Great fun being able to do it, very lucky!

Is 2021 the best AFL season in recent memory?