Martin Blake

Martin Blake

Martin Blake has been a senior writer for The Age since 1986 and has covered numerous AFL seasons, three cricket World Cups and various Australian cricket tours overseas, two Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, and a plethora of other major sports events including the British Open Championship and the US Masters. He covers all sports with an emphasis on Australian football and golf.

AFL

Bomber stars return

Martin Blake Essendon coach James Hird has spent the season with headaches at the selection table and a glut of injuries, but the Bombers are on the verge of pulling their full list together.

Blues delay contract talks with McLean

Carlton's Brock McLean

Martin Blake Brock McLean has no guarantee of a place at Carlton next year, despite being arguably the club's best player in the past month.

AFL

'As a kid I hated Hawthorn': Hird gets personal

James Hird

Martin Blake Essendon coach James Hird is looking forward to renewing his club's rivalry with Hawthorn at Docklands tomorrow night, although he has bigger things on his mind.

Hodge back for Hawks

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge

Jared Lynch, Martin Blake Luke Hodge is set to captain Hawthorn for just the third time this season in tonight's clash with Essendon, while Bombers speedster Jason Winderlich will play his first game for the season in his...

Thompson cleared on Johnson collision

Scott Thompson and Steve Johnson.

Martin Blake Steve Johnson's concussion likely to prevent him from playing against Hawthorn.

The Tigers' fade a habit they must break

Adelaide v Richmond

Martin Blake Three consecutive defeats by less than a goal will test the patience of any fan.

Baby steps as Bombers on the mend

Dustin Fletcher

Martin Blake Essendon keeps taking two steps back for each step forward in the injury stakes.

Six-day rule costs Swan two games

Suspended: Dane Swan's indiscretion has cost him a two-match ban.

Martin Blake and Jake Niall Collingwood's hard-line decision based on a season-long ban on drinking alcohol six days before a game.

Never a punch pulled

Player-coach: Ray ''Slug'' Jordon in his heyday as Victorian wicketkeeper

Martin Blake Ray Jordon had a way with words. Choice words. Australian words.

AFL

Richardson in mix for Power coaching job

Alan RICHARDSON

Martin Blake The Carlton senior assistant coach retains an ambition to coach at the highest level.

Buckley stands by his under-siege forwards

Nathan Buckley

Martin Blake Nathan Buckley is not happy with his two key forwards, Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes. But he believes they have copped too much of the focus since last weekend's defeat by North Melbourne.

Franklin back as Hawthorn ups the ante

Hawthorn's Lance Franklin

Martin Blake LANCE Franklin's long-awaited return from a hamstring injury and illness, along with the inclusion of former captain Sam Mitchell and Josh Gibson, gives Hawthorn an imposing look for the...

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Docker upset locks in top eight

Fremantle's Hayden Ballentyne is chased by Liam Anthony.

Martin Blake Fremantle has turned the lower half of the top eight upside down.

No regrets as Bombers veteran McVeigh calls it a day

Essendon's Mark McVeigh

Martin Blake Essendon's 232-game veteran Mark McVeigh has retired with no regrets. McVeigh, 31, told his teammates this morning at Windy Hill that he would not go on in 2013.

Dawes finds an opening as Magpies bolster ruck

Chris Dawes

Martin Blake Collingwood has made a last-ditch punt on Chris Dawes for the qualifying final against Hawthorn at the MCG tonight after the out-of-form ruck-forward was dropped for the last round of the...

AFL

Dawes finds an opening as Pies bolster ruck

Chris Dawes

Martin Blake Collingwood has made a last-ditch punt on Chris Dawes for the qualifying final.

AFL

Magpie injury crisis deepens: Shaw, Thomas sidelined

Heath Shaw

Martin Blake Collingwood's injury crisis has hit epic proportions, with Heath Shaw and Dale Thomas breaking down with hamstring strains.

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Fyfe may shoulder load

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Nathan Fyfe of the Dockers looks to handball during the round 14 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium on June 25, 2011 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Martin Blake Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe appears set to play in tonight's game against St Kilda.

Football

Magpie injury crisis deepens

Dale Thomas

Martin Blake A phlegmatic Collingwood is dealing with its worst injury blight in years as another two star players went down yesterday.

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Five questions for Anzac Day

Fighting fit? Essendon coach James Hird talks to Courtenay Dempsey and Nathan Lovett-Murray.

Martin Blake Injuries will test the depth of both clubs, writes Martin Blake.

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