IT TOOK Adam Saad 12 games to accumulate 4,795 metres gained in 2020. That’s roughly the distance on Sydney Road between Piranha Park and Ikon Park.
Yet it took Saad seven years to arrive at the ground he can now officially call home.
After five weeks of waiting, Saad’s phone lit up while finishing off a running session on Wednesday morning: confirmation came through from his manager John Meesen that the deal was done.
The sense of irony wasn’t lost on Saad, who spoke from the old Royal Parade ground the day after his move was made official.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Saad told Carlton Media.
“When you think of it like that, it’s crazy. Piranha Park in Coburg is only three or four kilometres away and here I am.
“I live not too far away from here too, so I guess it was meant to be in the end. I’m really, really happy.”
While Saad’s phone was buzzing left, right and centre on Wednesday, it wasn’t exactly a new phenomenon for the new Blue.
Ever since he flagged his intentions to join Carlton last month, he has been pestered - as he put it - by a large contingent of Lebanese Bluebaggers from day dot.
Now, he’s hoping to bring them and many more along for the ride.
“They’ve been doing it for a while now, they’ve been messaging me and telling me to get to the Club,” he said.
“I’m putting pressure on my family now. I’ve got 70 first cousins and a lot of second and third cousins and friends. Hopefully we’ll get 200-300 memberships in the next week or so.
“[The response on social media] has been really positive. I’ve got a lot of family members, a lot of cousins and friends that support Carlton.”
After the deal went through, Saad’s manager John Meesen joined Trade Radio to discuss the David Teague effect in the new Blue’s decision.
Saad said he felt as though the game style Carlton was playing under Teague was conducive to his strengths.
“I watched a few games and I was really impressed with the game style,” he said.
“It’s important, speaking to the coach and getting along with him really well. ‘Teaguey’ is a really nice guy and we just chatted about life and footy.”
“It sounds unbelievable”
Given Trade Period has now come to an end, there’s nothing surer than this trade-off.
Out: trade hypotheticals. In: best 22 projections.
For Carlton supporters all across the country, the unanimous half-back line will be A. Saad, J. Weitering and S. Docherty.
And the former loves the sound of that.
“It sounds unbelievable,” he said.
“If you’re going to tag somebody, you’re going to have to tag two or three blokes.
“You look at Plowman, Marchbank and Liam Jones as well. The back six is really good and the overall team is really exciting.”
While he may be getting to know his mates down back when pre-season resumes, there’s another player that Saad is looking forward to reuniting with.
Of course, Jack Martin and Saad for three seasons together at the Gold Coast Suns.
“I can’t wait to reunite and play alongside Jack again,” he said.
“He’s a superstar with the way he plays his footy. I’ve been speaking to him in the last three or four weeks as well.”
Making an impact… on and off the field
After six years at the elite level, you might think that Saad’s VFL beginnings may seem like a world away.
However, it’s the fact that he’s played triple figures at the elite level which he still struggles to get his head around.
In that time, he has forged a reputation as one of the competition’s best rebounding and lockdown defenders.
It’s not just on the field in the Navy Blue where he’s hoping to make an impact, with Saad intent on “never forgetting where you come from”.
Incidentally, his work off the field is something which he’ll continue to devote himself too.
“It’s super important to me, to give back to the community,” he said.
“Hopefully we can build programs and put academies in place to help the youth and help young kids to be better people and with their football development as well.
“It’s something I’m really passionate about and something I can hopefully continue going forward, to give back and make a difference in a positive way.”