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.

AFL

Hawthorn win is one for the ages

Jake Niall Have the Hawks ever played a better half than the opening two quarters of this grand final ''replay''?

AFL

Ruthless Hawks tame lame Lions

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Dayle Garlett of the Hawks runs with the ball during the round one AFL NAB Cup match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on February 13, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Jake Niall Some games are decided in the opening 15 or 20 minutes. Hawthorn's pre-season opener against the Lions was rendered a training drill when the teams were selected.

AFL

Clearly, it's Buckley at the wheel

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Jake Niall In Nathan Buckley's first season, he was driving a car that had been assembled and successfully steered by Mick Malthouse.

AFL

Hawks just so efficient

West Coast's Beau Waters battles with Hawthorn's Jack Gunston at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Jake Niall Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston boot five goals apiece to lift their side to victory over West Coast.

Time for Bombers to take their medicine

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Jake Niall Essendon would be wise to resolve any sanctions from the supplements saga as soon as possible.

AFL

Hawks feast on Bombers

Essendon's Michael Hibberd makes a grab for Hawthorn's Brian Lake.

Jake Niall Hawthorn withstands an early challenge from Essendon to romp home by 56 points.

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AFL

Hawthorn revival almost too late

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Jake Niall Hawthorn comes back from a seemingly hopeless position to beat the Cats for the first time since the 2008 AFL grand final and reach this year's decider.

AFL

The life of Brian: Hawks have seen a different Lake

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Jake Niall Old Dog Brian Lake is learning new tricks as a Hawk, but the evolution is not without its risks.

Hawks three times better

It's mine: Travis Cloke makes a desperate attempt to stop Josh Gibson from breaking free.

Jake Niall On the ladder, Hawthorn and Collingwood were only one game apart. In reality, the distance was several goals.

Free Don

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Jake Niall Free agency could bring players to Essendon as the club looks to a brighter future.

AFL

Fleet of foot prevails over big birds

Crows defender Ben Rutten looks on as Hawk Cyril Rioli celebrates.

Jake Niall The Hawks didn’t choke. Adelaide choked them.

Football

Crucial move makes Rioli a trump card

Celebration: Cyril Rioli slots another goal.

Jake Niall Cyril Rioli was 'buggered' in the last quarter, when Alastair Clarkson made the game's most telling move, shifting the electric Cyril deeper into attack, where his jolts revived a flatlining team.

AFL

Spoiling the spoiler: The Swans' big task

Hawthorn's Josh Gibson

Jake Niall Josh Gibson is always a fistful, and Sydney needs a plan.

The journey

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Jake Niall Free agency is changing the AFL trading road map, it could be a difficult path for some.

Paying the price

Jake Niall on the Hawks

Jake Niall Now the shoe's on the other foot and the Hawks are grand final losers, expect a robust response.

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Jake Niall

Burgoyne yet to pass price test

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Jake Niall In 2009, the Hawks acquired two mature players in order to return to the premiership mix.

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Football

Being Buddy

Lance 'Buddy' Franklin

Jake Niall Lance Franklin's impact on the game continues to grow, but who is he and what shaped the AFL superstar?

Hawks stitch up top guns

Lance Franklin and Cyril Rioli

Jake Niall Not worried about losing important players to rival clubs in first year of free agency system.

Why brown and gold is the new black

Hawks superstar Buddy Franklin prepares to run through the banner

Jake Niall Hawthorn has players coming back from injury and is well placed to be the 2012 premier.