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

AFL moves to allay fears weather will stop grand final parade

Martin Blake and Daniel Mackney Tomorrow's grand final parade will be cancelled if Melbourne's forecast bad weather is too inclement, AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has admitted.

AFL moving on grand final twilight game

Andrew Demetriou and Gillon McLachlan.

Martin Blake The AFL continues to warm to the idea of a twilight grand final.

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AFL

Cats, Magpies recall big guns for grand final replay

Collingwood defender Chris Tarrant during a training session at Gosch's Paddock.

Jesse Hogan and Martin Blake Teams for grand final rematch will bear strong resemblance to last year's decider.

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.

MCG travel bug won't go away

The MCG.

Martin Blake Four Victorian clubs have made the finals and four from outside the game's heartland.

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.

McVeigh hangs up boots

Mark McVeigh

Martin Blake For the best part of a decade, Mark ''Spike'' McVeigh and James Hird had a ritual as players. Before each game, they paired off and hammered footballs at each other to spark up.

Blues battlers to the end

Departing Carlton coach Brett Ratten

Martin Blake Brett Ratten's last game for Carlton ends in more heartache, with St Kilda winning by 15 points.

Lyon gets quick results with Freo

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon

Martin Blake Ross Lyon and Fremantle are working well together, writes Martin Blake.

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AFL

Communication poor on suspensions: Demetriou

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou.

Martin Blake Andrew Demetriou admits that the AFL's match review panel and judiciary system is imperfect, but insists that it is better than the old system.

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Swans set to end Magpies' streak

Martin-Blake-sport-dinks

Martin Blake Everyone falls in love with the qualifying final winners and dumps the losers, but recent history shows that it is not necessarily a good guide to the preliminary finals.

Martin Blake

Preliminary discussions: Part three

Martin Blake Travis Cloke is the one. He has a history of troubling Sydney and is key to the Pie's chances.

Football

Oh brother, a family's dilemma

Ben Reid

Martin Blake For the Reid family of Bright, it will inevitably be a bitter-sweet preliminary final day.

Bloodlines run deep: Bolton set for his 300th game

Sydney's Jude Bolton

Martin Blake I GUESS Jude was always going to be tough. He had to be. Growing up with two sporty elder brothers, their grand finals and Test matches in the Ballarat backyard were brutal.

Schoe and tell: Hawks' most relieved man

Ryan Schoenmakers

Martin Blake Arguably the most relieved man at Hawthorn today was Ryan Schoenmakers, the Hawks' centre half-back whose brain-fade late in the final quarter gifted a goal to Adelaide's Jason Porplyzia and almost...

Football

Hawk puts brain fade behind him

Ryan Schoenmakers.

Martin Blake Arguably the most relieved man at Hawthorn yesterday was Ryan Schoenmakers, whose brain fade late in the final quarter almost cost his team a spot in the grand final.

Football

Hawks haunted by grand Swan

Josh Kennedy

Martin Blake Next Saturday, former Hawk Josh Kennedy presents arguably the biggest single threat to Hawthorn's quest for an 11th premiership.

Hawk Smith is an up-and-comer

Isaac Smith

Martin Blake Isaac Smith is determined to go with the flow in his first experience of grand final week.

No place to run, or hide

Buddy Franklin and Ted Richards

Martin Blake Ted Richards is the modern backman personified; adaptable, competitive and strong.

Sewell to keep Hawkeye on Swan

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Josh Kennedy of the Swans gathers the ball under pressure from Brad Sewell of the Hawks during the AFL Second Semi Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 16, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Martin Blake Brad Sewell is the most likely marker for Josh Kennedy on Saturday.