ADAM Saad was one of few leading into Friday night’s elimination final with a taste of September.
He ranked fifth in Carlton’s team for finals experience. He had played one game.
That was an elimination final loss for Essendon back in 2019. It was 12 months later where Saad requested a trade to the Blues, and it took until year three to have return to football’s favourite month.
He knows that the feeling of Friday night won’t be leaving anytime soon, and something which seemed a world away when Saad was recruited from Coburg to Gold Coast nine years ago.
“It’s amazing where the journey takes you. Playing AFL is a dream of ours and to be playing in a home final in front of friends and family, 92,000 members and supporters — it’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Saad told Triple M Rush Hour.
“To get the win as well as the roar of the crowd, the supporters have been amazing. We’re very lucky.”
There’s been a bit of healthy conjecture about what earned the loudest noise of the night. Was it Patrick Cripps’ first finals goal? Blake Acres’ sealer? Nic Newman’s game-clinching mark?
If you ask Saad, it may have been the first disposal he had for the night. When the crowd was at its hottest, the ‘woof’ that accompanied a typical Saad bomb shook the MCG.
“There were heaps of moments in the game where the crowd was very loud. It’s been amazing, the fans have embraced me.
“Every time I get a kick, they give me the woof. There’s a bit of pressure now, I’ve got to start getting a kick and stop going short.
“It’s pretty cool . . . it’s very cool.”
While Friday night will live fondly in the memory like the 2013 elimination final has for Carlton fans has for a decade, Saad and the Blues would rather look ahead to what’s to come.
“It was a special night. It’s very hard to be playing finals and even win a final, so we’re really embracing it and looking forward to what’s next.”