Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Fleet-footed Sun Adam Saad aims to add stopping to his game

Michael Whiting  February 28, 2016 10:00 AM

AFL 2015 Training - Gold Coast 171215

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 17: Adam Saad of the Suns is chased by Max Rooke during the Gold Coast Suns training session at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast on December 17, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

I'll challenge them the other way as well when I get it, just take them on and see if they can chase

AFTER turning heads for his ability to run and break the lines in his debut season, Gold Coast defender Adam Saad wants to be known for far more in 2016.

Saad shocked many – both inside the club and out – when he burst off the rookie list in 2015 to play 16 games and finish seventh in the NAB Rising Star award. 

His electric pace quickly became his calling card, loving to play on and take bounces from the defensive 50 to set the Suns' attack alight. Only Heath Shaw took more running bounces in the entire competition last year.

Saad wants to keep the flair this season, but a plethora of work with assistant coaches Andy Lovell and Max Rooke has him primed to also lock down as a defender.

"I've learnt so much this pre-season and I'm looking forward to implementing it in games and defending well this year," Saad told

"The way I played was more offensive but I've learnt a lot from guys like (Jarrod) Harbrow and (Nick) Malceski and Steven May about being more well rounded, having defence as my foundation and attacking from that."

Saad has taken one-on-one tutelage from Lovell and Rooke and has pored over hours of footage from last season to see where he could improve.

Coach Rodney Eade gives him a licence to attack, but Saad is also up for any challenge, and if that means taking on the competition's elite forwards, that's fine with him.

"It's up to the coaches if they want me to play on the dangerous small forwards," he said.

"I've played on Cyril Rioli, (Paul) Puopolo, (Hayden) Ballantyne – you learn so much from those games.

"I'm up for any challenge, whatever 'Rocket' gives me.

"If I play on the best small forwards in the game, I'm not really fussed, I'll take the challenge and I'll challenge them the other way as well when I get it, just take them on and see if they can chase and defend.

"If you defend well and if you're just hanging back and happy stopping him, well, you've got to hurt him the other way, and if they're not chasing, it hurts their team and gives us a boost."

Aside from a rolled ankle that has recently cost him a week, Saad has had a strong pre-season after recovering from hip surgery late last season.

He will play Gold Coast's NAB Challenge match against West Coast in Perth next Wednesday after missing the first-up win over the Brisbane Lions.