Height is everything!

We can all run fast, we can all get the ball and kick it but there's one ingredient that wins premierships - height.

Even in the last premiership, when Shane Mumford went down it was Mike Pyke who saved the day.

Pyke wasn't supposed to be a footballer, not as good as Israel Folau or Karmichael Hunt.

He wasn't getting $1 million a year like Folau and Hunt, we all knew that, but Pyke had one thing in abundance that they didn't have - height.

Folau was reasonably tall but couldn't play as a big, solid ruckman.

However, Pyke proved he had the height and courage to take the baton when Mumford got injured.

Now the talent scouts scour the nation looking for height so they can put the big monsters against each other.

And with the new ruck laws that have come in where you can't use your body too much against each other, height is going to be what it's all about.

The Swans pride themselves on first use of the ball from stoppages and it wins games.

Sydney's game plan is to create bags of stoppages in the backline, clear the ball and get the exit players like Lewis Jetta to run like hell.

Now even when you're 30 years of age you are still a valuable commodity if you are tall, like Orren Stephenson who got delisted from Geelong and was snapped up straight away by Richmond.

Of course the Tigers had a look at former Brisbane and Collingwood big man Cameron Wood but thought Orren was a little bit bigger than him and would fit the bill better.

One thing about it is it won't be long before people who have looked at basketball in the USA will go back there and try and invest in there because we've had the Irish experiment and it's worked in most cases.

The jury's still out on rugby league converts, Israel Folau was an absolute flop and Karmichael Hunt is just an ordinary footballer.

But to get the big blokes in there to get first use of the ball will be a priority in the next couple of years for fledgling clubs.


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