Jake Niall

Jake Niall

Jake Niall is a senior sports writer at 'The Age' specialising mainly in coverage of the AFL. He writes a weekly column for 'The Sunday Age' and has been on staff with 'The Age' or 'Sunday Age' since 1995. Jake, who combines original news with commentary, match-based writing, features and analysis, has won a number of awards, including the Alf Brown award for the best performer in AFL media in 2012, the Melbourne Press Club's 2007 Quill award for best sports story in any medium and a Walkley award, shared with colleagues Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie, Caroline Wilson and John Silvester, for best coverage of a major issue (Essendon scandal) in 2013.

After Malthouse: Carlton trying not to be the Blues

Jake Niall The Blues are trying to reinvent themselves into a club that is more like the rest, less like themselves.

Mick Malthouse risked losing his Blues payout

Michael Malthouse

Jake NIall, Caroline Wilson and Ronny Lerner Carlton president Mark LoGiudice has cited a loss of trust between his board and Mick Malthouse as the reason behind the veteran coach's sacking on Tuesday afternoon.

Mick Malthouse's last address to Carlton players

Mick Malthouse has addressed Carlton players for the final time

Jake Niall A gracious Mick Malthouse did not blame his players or criticise the Carlton board that axed him when he addressed the Blues for the last time.

Mick Malthouse sacked as coach of Carlton

Mick Malthouse.

Jake Niall Carlton have sacked Mick Malthouse the day after the Blues said an announcement on the embattled coach's future would come after their next two games.

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Not the time for Blues to panic

Jake Niall

Jake Niall Many Carlton fans are demanding a ritual sacrifice of the coach, in keeping with club tradition, as a short-term panacea.

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Carlton coach Mick Malthouse moves to defuse conflict with club

An exasperated Mick Malthouse looks on during Friday's match.

Jake Niall Embattled Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has moved to defuse any conflict with the club administration, saying that he backs the club's and chief executive Steven Trigg's rebuilding plans.

Carlton suffer another thrashing, this time at Geelong's hands

Ed Curnow of the Blues and Joel Selwood of the Cats wrestle for the ball during the round eight match on Friday night.

Jake Niall Carlton thrashings no longer hold shock value. They're becoming weekly rituals.

Why Yarran is Carlton's best trade

Trading places: Carlton's Chris Yarran.

Jake Niall It is a truth universally acknowledged that a club in possession of a sub-standard playing list must be in want of a high draft pick.

AFL flags prospect of a less-restrictive free agency system

Patrick Dangerfield

Jake Niall The AFL has raised the prospect of a new free agency system, to improve the movement of talent between teams.

Michael Voss' back-to-front coaching career

Michael Voss reckons leaving Queensland was

Jake Niall Michael Voss compares his unconventional coaching path to giving birth, then experiencing labour pains.

Hawthorn thump lamentable Melbourne by 105 points

Bradley Hill celebrates one of Hawthorn's 24 goals.

Jake Niall Hawthorn warmed up for their grand final rematch by cruising to a 105-point victory over Melbourne, inflicting Paul Roos' biggest loss as an AFL coach

North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs have Friday nights on their mind

Where's the reward? North Melbourne has gotten little Friday love from the AFL in 2015.

Jake Niall North Melbourne, the pioneer of Friday night football, will be seen in that coveted time slot only twice in 2015, despite finishing fourth.

Father-sons deemed outside spending cap

Carlton is establishing its first father-son academy and is seeking to persuade Bailey Rice, the son of Dean Rice, to join the Blues.

Jake Niall The AFL has confirmed that father-son academies will be outside the spending cap on football departments, with Carlton establishing its first father-son academy.

WADA appeal: Doubt on witnesses for new Essendon hearing

Essendon coach James Hird at the Bombers’ recovery session at St Kilda on Tuesday.

Jake Niall and John Silvester The World Anti-Doping Agency is unlikely to be able to force key witnesses to testify in the fresh hearing into the Essendon case, after the WADA appeal blindsided the Bombers and the players.

AFL players need a balanced life

Jake Niall

Jake Niall In their premiership year of 1996, it wasn't unusual for the North Melbourne boys to discuss their post-game social arrangements in the last quarter.

Mitch Clark dealing with ongoing mental health issues: Chris Scott

Feeling down: Geelong captain Joel Selwood falls to the ground after injuring his right hand.

Jake Niall Geelong coach Chris Scott has confirmed forward Mitch Clark was dealing with ongoing mental health issues, when he appeared dejected and didn't join in the team song after Friday night's win over...

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley says they failed to play well as a team

A preoccupied Nathan Buckley leaves after speaking to his team during a break in Friday's game.

Jake Niall Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says the Magpies ''lost shape'' and did not play well as a team when jumped by Geelong in their 41-point loss on Friday night.

Resurgent Geelong burst Collingwood's bubble

Take that: Geelong’s forward livewire Steven Motlop celebrates a goal as Magpie defenders Dane Swan and Nathan Brown look on.

Jake Niall Few games between sides that sit in the competition's vast middle class have been decided as swiftly as this one between an energised Geelong and a shellshocked Collingwood.

AFL concern about arm pinning and head ducking

Footy boss Mark Evans.

Jake Niall The AFL umpiring department has raised concerns about players' arms being pinned in tackles and the continued ducking of heads, in a meeting with the laws of the game committee.

Mick's way: Gibbs and mates will avoid axe

Jake Niall Bryce Gibbs was far from the only player who let down club and coach, but his output was probably the worst of all when measured against his high capabilities.