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.

Bomber: Dons need to play finals for spirit's sake

Jake Niall Following his team's courageous come back victory over West Coast, Essendon coach Mark Thompson said his players needed to play finals for their ''spiritual selves'' after enduring another tough year...

Hawks' attack of the drones

Innovative: Alastair Clarkson.

Jake Niall and Daniel Cherny Hawthorn has broken new ground by becoming the first club to use remote control ''drones'' to fly over Waverley Park at training.

How Hawthorn goes over and above in search of 'the edge'

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Jake Niall Watching Hawthorn train, you won't necessarily notice it, because your eyes are invariably drawn to Cyril Rioli, Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead.

AFL

Garlett, Robinson need to win back trust: Carlton

Blue times: Mick Malthouse with Mitch Robinson.

Jake Niall Carlton pair Mitch Robinson and Jeff Garlett will have to win the trust of their team mates before the club considers offering them contracts for next year.

Carlton to record close to $500,000 loss

Carlton Football Club.

Jake Niall Carlton is bracing itself for a ''significant'' financial loss this year of close to $500,000, even as the club accepts that it will have to pay just below $300,000 in equalisation payments to the...

Tank-fully, all teams will be trying hard this year

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Jake Niall In years past, a round 20 game between two near bottom teams would be watched for unusual selections and experimental placements.

Three days can make or break the Bombers

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Jake Niall Essendon's immediate football fate will be shaped over three consecutive Saturday afternoons.

Richmond keeps finals dream alive with win over Essendon

Cale Hooker of Essendon and Jack Riewoldt of Richmond have eyes only for the ball.

Jake Niall Richmond's late charge for the AFL finals has survived an almighty challenge from Essendon.

Time for Blues to ditch Mitch

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Jake Niall Mitch Robinson should not remain at Carlton next year. Robinson is still out of contract, with talks on hold. If there is a taker, as there surely will be, the Blues should expedite the trade.

Father-son drafting shake-up in the wings

Darcy Moore is a highly-rated prospect who would be affected by any rule change.

Jake Niall The AFL is looking at overhauling the father-son draft rules.

AFL judiciary system on the nose, says retired Magpie Nick Maxwell

'I don’t agree with the whole philosophy that it’s guilty before proven innocent.' said former Collingwood skipper Nick Maxwell.

Jake Niall Collingwood's newly retired former premiership captain Nick Maxwell is pleased Geelong's Steve Johnson took on the AFL match review verdict at the tribunal and called for the overhaul of a system...

AFL

Tigers roar against Giants to keep slim finals hopes alive

Rhys Palmer of the Giants takes a big hit from Nathan Gordon of the Tigers at the MCG on Saturday.

Jake Niall In this competition, five consecutive wins almost invariably place a team inside the top eight, or somewhere near it.

The AFL playing field is finding a new level, already reflecting in the ladder

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Jake Niall If the AFL is living through the worst of times, it is also entering the best of times.

Allowance to favour Swan youth

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Jake Niall Every Sydney player who isn't paid more than $300,000 will receive a net payment of $10,000 next season and in 2016, under the AFL's new version of the cost of living allowance (COLA).

Eddie McGuire: 2015 to be year of the fan

'Year of the fan': Eddie McGuire says he doesn't want fans to feel like they are being taken for granted.

Jake Niall Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has called for 2015 to be the ‘‘year of the fan’’ following the issues the AFL has had with crowds in Victoria.

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AFL players push for secret mid-season contracts with rival clubs

Lance Franklin was really pledged to Sydney long before the 2013 season ended.

Jake Niall There is a concerted push from AFL players to allow free agents to sign a contract with another club during a season to provide them with greater security.

Matthew Boyd to play on for Western Bulldogs

Matthew Boyd has enjoyed a strong 2014 and provided stability to a developing midfield that balances experience with talented youth.

Jake Niall Decored Western Bulldogs veteran and former captain Matthew Boyd is set to play on in 2015, having been offered a new contract by the club.

AFL

Hawks edge Swans after a gripping contest

Close combatants: Josh Gibson and Lance Franklin.

Jake Niall In a season supposedly beset with underwhelming footy, Hawthorn and Sydney produced what was surely the season's highest calibre game, in a contest between teams that will surely meet again at the...

AFL

Magpies not in hunt for James Frawley

Top defender: James Frawley.

Jake Niall Collingwood, widely speculated to be among the leading contenders for Melbourne's James Frawley, is not in the hunt for the free agent defender.

AFL

AFL's Sunday twilight zone a no-man's land

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Jake Niall Season 2014 has been blighted by the fall-out from two failed experiments. One, obviously, is Essendon's pharmacological foray The other, less reckless but still costly ''experiment'', was the AFL's...