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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
Jake Niall In years past, a round 20 game between two near bottom teams would be watched for unusual selections and experimental placements.
Jake Niall Essendon's immediate football fate will be shaped over three consecutive Saturday afternoons.
Jake Niall Richmond's late charge for the AFL finals has survived an almighty challenge from Essendon.
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.
Jake Niall The AFL is looking at overhauling the father-son draft rules.
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...
Jake Niall In this competition, five consecutive wins almost invariably place a team inside the top eight, or somewhere near it.
Jake Niall If the AFL is living through the worst of times, it is also entering the best of times.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...