WHAT’S the first thing that comes to Adam Saad’s mind when he takes possession of the Sherrin?

“That is a great question. I’ve been trying to figure that out for my whole career, it’s my 10th year.”

Carlton knew exactly what it was getting when Saad sought a trade to the Blues at the end of 2020. With 70 games under his belt in the Navy Blue, he’s continuing to deliver exactly that.

Having played over a century of games before arriving at IKON Park, Saad was always highly touted from those at Carlton for his defensive assurance and offensive creativity.

Speaking on 3AW’s Wide World of Sports, Saad said that instinctual flair he tries to bring each week even keeps him guessing with ball in hand.


“Try and take the guy on the mark on, try and hit a 45. It’s whatever I see fit at the time. 

“If I see space, I’ll take it. If someone’s on the mark, I’ll try and go and hit a kick. I like playing with a bit of flair, taking a bounce and running through the corridor or on the wing.

“It changes with each scenario.”

One thing that doesn’t change, however, is how confident Saad is that he made the right decision to call Carlton home.

When he departed the Gold Coast Suns at the end of 2017, the Blues were one of those clubs who pursued Saad, but it was to arch rival Essendon where Saad headed. However, after three years in red and black, it was Saad’s wish to wear the Navy Blue.

It’s a move which he’s relished, going on to earn All-Australian selection in 2022 and make a preliminary final last year. But it wasn’t without its complications: his first year, which saw upheaval at the very top of the football club, was evidence of that.

“I never doubted my choice to move over. Obviously riding the wave, footy is up and down, but through hardship, here we are.

“[The first year] was a bit challenging, but as soon as I got there, I saw how united the players were. They embraced me and respected me coming into the Club.

“The moment ‘Vossy’ stepped in and with all the coaches that have come on board, he’s built a strong culture. Sometimes you’ve got to go through some hard stuff to mould together as a group.

“We made a prelim last year, but it’s been years in the making.”


With a body of work behind the Blues now, conversation has naturally turned to what could be next for Saad and the wider team in the years to come.

For the dashing half-back, the outlook is clear — and it comes from a message starting from above.

“It’s about becoming a consistently good home-and-away team. If we keep bringing our contest and pressure, and everyone plays their role and is selfless, it puts us in good stead. It doesn’t guarantee us wins, but it puts us in a good spot.

“It’s total buy in from all of the players — when it’s your turn to go, just go. We want to be a connected team out there.

“‘Crippa’ holds really high standards. He leads by example and he’s the first person that does it. You have to train it really well and have the right intensity and right standard in training.”