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.

Jekyll-and-Hyde Roos prove finals real deal

Jake Niall North Melbourne was derided for its inconsistency this year and was widely viewed as a team that alternated, like the girl with the curl, between very good and horrid.

North Melbourne coach says team primed for finals

Jake Niall North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says his team is ''primed'' for next Saturday night's final against Essendon and in better shape than ever, with a number of key players set to return.

Tight win over Geelong not good enough for finals: Clarkson

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.

Jake Niall Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says his team will have to improve to go far in the finals.

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.

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

Dyson Heppell of the Bombers high-fives fans after the game.

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...

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.

AFL

Supplement crisis: Bombers set to miss finals

Hird avoids the media after training session (Thumbnail)

Caroline Wilson and Jake Niall Essendon looks certain to not play finals as negotiations between the AFL and the club moved swiftly towards a resolution of the crisis that has engulfed the game.

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Bombers losing grip on finals

Flying Hawk: Cyril Rioli leaps over Courtenay Dempsey last night.

Emma Quayle and Jake Niall Essendon's grip on the top-eight spot it has held all season becomes shakier.

Free agent James Frawley fields big offers

Likely to move: James Frawley.

Michael Gleeson and Jake Niall Sought-after Melbourne free agent James Frawley has spent the weekend in Perth meeting the Dockers.

Selwood challenges decorated teammates to improve

Their season at an end, Geelong players trudge off the ground on Friday night.

Jake Niall Geelong captain Joel Selwood has challenged the club's decorated veterans, as much as the youngsters, to improve and take the club beyond the second week of the finals.

The Sydney dynasty beckons

Jake Niall dinkus Dinkus

Jake Niall Predicting an AFL dynasty, or a period of relative success in that competition, has a similar success rate to flipping in blackjack or changing Labor leaders.

Scott Pendlebury a lone ranger as Magpies build from the ground up

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall A somewhat prominent Collingwood supporter who works in the media - and isn't Eddie McGuire - was asked this question on Saturday: If Scott Pendlebury was injured for a period next year, who would...

Griffiths opts to stay at Tigerland

Ben Griffiths has had a breakout season.

Jake Niall Richmond's vastly improved key forward Ben Griffiths will remain at Tigerland, spurning offers from rival clubs to sign with the Tigers.

How Hawthorn left Collingwood in the dust

Jake Niall dinkus Dinkus

Jake Niall Why Hawthorn has opened a gap on its rival

North tunes up with victory over improved Dees

Game plan: North Melbourne coach Brad Scott gives his Kangaroos instructions on how to stay on top of Melbourne.

Jake Niall If North defeated Melbourne in this low profile encounter, the Roos would play Essendon next week.

Why Jonathon Patton's injury hurts Victorian clubs

Hot property: Greater Western Sydney star Jonathon Patton.

Jake Niall When the word passed around that Jonathan Patton had gone down with a second knee injury, there wasn't only movement at the station near Sydney's Olympic Park, where the Giants reside.

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Loss to Hawks is still a step forward: Chris Scott

Thinking forward: Geelong coach Chris Scott.

Jake Niall Geelong coach Chris Scott said that despite the defeat, the Cats had taken a step forward prior to the finals.

How the mad as hell Tigers started winning run

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin.

Jake Niall ''I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more'' – Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch in the 1976 classic, Network.

Three days can make or break the Bombers

Jake Niall dinkus Dinkus

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

Time for Blues to ditch Mitch

Jake Niall dinkus

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.