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I won't change my action: Saad

Jennifer Witham  March 5, 2013 12:33 PM

Saad set shot routine Take a look at Ahmed Saad's unique approach to goal kicking
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Ahmed Saad wants to stay true to his unusual goal-kicking action

AHMED Saad won't change his actual goalkicking routine this season but will make sure he completes it quickly enough to avoid being called to play on.

Saad, 23, has one of the more distinctive methods for taking a set shot.

He doesn't count the number of steps he takes but it averages out between 28 and 32, with his slow and methodical 'walk in' prompting comments each time he does it.

This season, the AFL will crack down on the 30 second limit players have to take a set shot, which will see umpires call 'play on' more often if they take too long.

Saad said he had worked on making his routine quicker without changing the actual run up itself.

"Rather than take my time getting back, I'll just take the mark and get back a little bit quicker and just start quicker," Saad told AFL.com.au

"I'm not going to try and change it too much because it works.

"All I've got to do is speed it up a little bit and hope I don't get called for 'play on' midway through my walk."

Saad came up with his routine with the help of his uncle Sherif Mohamed, who takes 13 steps when he lines up in front of goal for the Yarraville Seddon Eagles.

Mohamed kicked 71 goals from 17 games last year to finish second in the league on the goal-kicking ladder.

Saad said he would continue to do what he considered comfortable when it came to lining up to try and capitalise on the 28 goals he booted in 16 games in 2012.

"I don't know how many [steps] I'm taking now; I'm just trying to go back until I feel comfortable like I did and just walk through it," he said.

"That's what I'm hoping for. I'm going to have to trial it out over the next couple of weeks to make sure I'm ready to go during the season."

Last year, Triple M commentator Wayne Carey said during the St Kilda-Melbourne clash in round 20 that Saad "might be the first player in the history of our game to have a seagull land on him when he is walking in".

Saad's coach Scott Watters more recently joked he would go and make a coffee when his small goalkicker lined up at training, only to return and catch the end of the process.

Saad said he was aware of the interest in his method, especially given the feedback from his teammates.

"They all make jokes like that, especially if I'm having a shot at training," he said.

"They all roll over on the ground like they're sleeping or say they're walking off but if anything it pumps me up a bit more and makes me want to kick it so I can rub it in their faces a little bit."

Ahmed Saad is a forward in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 53.5 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Jennifer Phelan is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow her on Twitter @AFL_JenPhelan.