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.

Hawks recall Josh Gibson

Hawthorn's Josh Gibson

Jake Niall Hawthorn has brought back gun defender Josh Gibson, key midfielder Brad Hill and introduced Alex Woodward for his first game for Saturday night's massive showdown with premiership favourites Sydney.

AFL

Hawks felled again with defender Josh Gibson out for 10 weeks

Hawk Josh Gibson

Jake Niall Hawthorn's mounting injury difficulties have worsened dramatically, with gun defender Josh Gibson having pectoral surgery that will see him miss the next 10 weeks.

AFL

Hawks edge Swans after a gripping contest

Close combatants: Josh Gibson and Lance Franklin.

Jake Niall In a season supposedly beset with underwhelming footy, Hawthorn and Sydney produced what was surely the season's highest calibre game, in a contest between teams that will surely meet again at the...

AFL

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley blunders on Maxwell, Keeffe

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall Nathan Buckley has rightly put his players on notice for what was probably the low water mark for Collingwood since he succeeded Mick Malthouse.

AFL

Experience a must for next Demons coach

Jake Niall There is a former Melbourne player who deserves consideration as a serious candidate to receive the coaching baton from Paul Roos.

Hawks break records ... and the Saints

Jake Niall What's the difference between Hawthorn and St Kilda? We could say that one team stayed in Tasmania and the other left; that one has far better stadium arrangements, and that, consequently, one has...

AFL

Ruthless Hawks give St Kilda a football education

Saints v Hawks

Jake Niall Hawthorn destroyed St Kilda by a record 145 points, but lost stars Sam Mitchell and Brian Lake to injury at the MCG.

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AFL

Wasteful Buddy ends up a match-winner for Sydney

Lance Franklin of the Swans marks during the round eight match against his old club, Hawthorn.

Jake Niall Lance Franklin kicks two late goals to carry Sydney to a 19-point win over Hawthorn.

Grant Birchall concedes the Swans were harder, bigger, better

Grant Birchall and Sydney's Sam Reid both make a grab for the ball.

Jake Niall Hawthorn's gun defender Grant Birchall has attributed the flag favourite's Friday evening defeat to the Swans being harder, bigger bodied and cleaner than the Hawks.

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

Hawthorn win is one for the ages

Step ahead: Hawk Luke Breust gets his kick away under pressure.

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

AFL

Hawks, Cats ready to resurrect the season

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall On Monday, the result is of secondary importance to the quality of football, and the interest the game generates.

AFL

Hawthorn revival almost too late

hawks

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

Clearly, it's Buckley at the wheel

Jake Niall dinkus

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

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

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

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

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

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