Plucked from obscurity in the second round of the 2014 Rookie Draft, Adam Saad emerged in 2015 as a fan favourite, with his dare across half back captivating fans both at Metricon Stadium and around the country.
Saad’s 16 senior games exhibited the brilliance he is capable of and the bright future ahead of him.
Unfortunately, his inaugural season ended prematurely due to niggling hip and groin troubles.
The massive load placed upon the rookie simply became too much as the campaign wore on, with the jump in intensity weighing heavily on Saad’s maturing body.
After undergoing hip surgery in September, the Coburg product is now back at full training capacity and has his sights set on round one, which is now less than 10 weeks away.
“It’s been interrupted the first few weeks due to my hip surgery in September so I’ve really eased my way into it,” Saad told SUNS TV.
“I’ve been in the main group the last 2-3 weeks and just really enjoying that and getting fitter and stronger and looking forward to the season ahead.
“JC [Justin Cordy] and all the high performance team, they’ve really individualised the program for each player so we’re working on the cons in our game.
“Heading forward, I want to get as fit as I can and as strong as I can, really looking forward to round one and seeing what I can do this year and as a team.”
With his high-octane runs and uncanny ability to elude opponents and take the game on, Saad looks capable of filling a midfield role at some point in his career.
READ: Saad a revelation in debut year
Heading into his second season, Saad revealed he just wants to help his team in any way he possibly can and is happy to play any role the coaching staff deem fit.
“Whatever the team wants me to do, whether it be back, forward,” he said.
“I’ll play anywhere just to help the team and help us get a couple of wins on the board but I think predominantly I’ll be playing half back and just that rebound role and shutdown defender.
“If it’s up on the wing or just play 10 minutes in the midfield, I’d really like that just to free up, try to use a bit of run and carry and whatever the team wants me to do or needs me to do.”
Constant improvement and the aim of playing every senior game in 2016 are the objectives driving Saad through the pre-season.
“Personal goal is just to improve each session, improve each game and hopefully play all 22 games this year,” he said.
“My first goal is to play NAB and then hopefully round one.”
Just over twelve months into his stint in southeast Queensland, life on the Gold Coast is treating Saad well. With family so close to his heart, the boy from Melbourne’s inner north has been joined up north by his cousin Zak, who is set to play NEAFL football with SUNS patron partner Southport Sharks in 2016.
“Yeah, I’m enjoying it (life on the Gold Coast),” Saad said.
“My cousin, Zak, moved up to the Coast with me after Chrissie, two weeks ago, so I’ve got my best mate up as well for a year so it’s really good to have someone familiar to me.
“We’ve been together for all our lives and yeah, it’s really good to be living together and experiencing life.”