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.

Collingwood won't be playing tag with Hawk midfield aces

Martin Blake Magpies star says winning the contested ball will be the key to the qualifying final.

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.

Vote magnet in medal tilt again

Dane Swan

Martin Blake Could Dane Swan win the Brownlow Medal for a second year in a row?

Beams me up, Pie rising

Dayne Beams

Martin Blake Dayne Beams is grabbing his opportunity to shine with both hands and earning plaudits all round.

Collingwood suspends Swan after night out

Dane Swan

Martin Blake Brownlow medallist Dane Swan has been suspended by Collingwood after a night out.

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.

Home is where the party is, Roo says

Nathan Grima

Martin Blake North Melbourne defender says Melbourne-raised players have tougher task to reach league's high professional standards.

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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Football

Steely Dees ground Pies

Open wide: Collingwood's Heath Shaw spoils Michael Hartley.

Martin Blake Melbourne was the better team all night; only poor conversion stopped it from dominating.

Football

All black and white, a great win for Demons

Melbourne's James Magner bobbed up everywhere.

Martin Blake Melbourne secures the best win of new coach Mark Neeld's fledgling career by surprising Collingwood.

Football

Winderlich back as Bombers test the best

Jason Winderlich is set to make his return from injury.

Martin Blake Winless Essendon picks its strongest possible squad for tomorrow's NAB Cup match against Sydney.

AFL

Tonight's NAB Cup games

Martin Blake A preview of tonight's NAB Cup matches, Essendon vs Sydney and Collingwood vs Adelaide.

Back-line players need greater recognition

Martin Blake The clubs are not perfect in rewarding their defenders, but they are at least on to it.

Football

No minus if 'plus-one' is a positive

Martin-Blake-sport-dinks

Martin Blake It used to be known as the 'loose man in defence'. Now it has become the 'plus-one' system.

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Football

Magpies call up two more rookies

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Jamie Elliott of the Magpies is tackled by Graham Johncock of the Crows during the round three NAB Cup match between the Adelaide Crows and the Collingwood Magpies at AAMI Stadium on March 9, 2012 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Martin Blake Injuries have forced Collingwood's hand again as it confronts white-hot Adelaide this weekend.

Tagging talented Tigers has Saint on the march

Clint Jones

Martin Blake Clint Jones will have slept easily last night. He will have known his opponent for tonight's game against Richmond, most likely Trent Cotchin, and that he is required to lock down on him for the sake...

AFL

Magpies sitting pretty with percentage boost

Winners are grinners: Collingwood's Alan Didak is all smiles.

Martin Blake Collingwood gives itself an important percentage boost by flogging Gold Coast at the MCG last night, despite an injury scare involving Scott Pendlebury.

AFL

Buckley's list just goes on and on

Nathan Buckley with Alan Didak

Martin Blake Collingwood is football's hydra. Cut someone down in black and white and another pops up, hungrier and just as dangerous.

AFL

Ratten joins chorus of dissent, but Hunt fine to stand

Josh Hunt stands on Eddie Betts' hand.

Martin Blake and Jared Lynch Carlton coach joins a chorus of discontent about the result of the Josh Hunt hand-stepping case.

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