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FOR A player who was overlooked in multiple drafts, it speaks volumes about Gold Coast defender Adam Saad that team success means more than individual glory.

Instead of rejoicing about his NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for round five, Saad was on Monday still elated about finally tasting victory in Saturday's Q-Clash against the Brisbane Lions.

"That's the best thing about the weekend - it was really special," he told

Even better, then, that Saad played so well. 

In an assured performance, the stocky 178cm defender's drive from the back half helped set up the Suns' breakthrough win under Rodney Eade.

In just his fifth career game, Saad collected 26 touches and distributed the ball at an elite 81 per cent efficiency.

Check out all 2015's nominees at the NAB AFL Rising Star hub

He also launched four counter-attacks from defensive 50 as the Suns dismantled the Lions by 64-points at Metricon Stadium, giving Saad his first chance to sing the song. 

"We had the song on the wall but I couldn't quite see it, so I was just going along with the flow," the 20-year-old said. 

Saad's burst of pace and kicking skills have always been his bread and butter, which is why a move from small forward to defence at VFL club Coburg last year reaped such great rewards.

That coaching masterstroke by Peter German redefined Saad as a footballer and boosted his chances of being recruited, which finally happened for him at pick 25 in last year's rookie draft.

Already he's averaging 17 disposals a game, as well as four marks and tackles.

"I've played against some senior boys in the VFL and I think that's fast-tracked my development," Saad said.

"I still can't believe I'm living my dream and playing AFL. It's tough and it's quicker, but all the hard work is worth it."

Since arriving at Gold Coast, Saad has added seven kilograms to his frame, and now tips the scales at more than 81kg.

He's picked apart the game-plan with assistant coaches Matthew Lappin and Dean Solomon and quickly felt comfortable with his role and where he fits.

He wants to do whatever he can to help the Suns win a maiden premiership, and believes the young squad has turned the corner after a players' only meeting last week.

"We went through some edits and some video clips from the previous game and said what was unacceptable and acceptable," Saad said.

"We've got heaps of talent on our list … but the effort and competitiveness at every contest and playing like brothers on the field and looking out for one another … I think that's what we need to be really consistent at.

"If we bring the effort like we did last week to every game, I think we'll challenge every side and we'll be a chance of winning every game."

Adam Saad's junior club: West Coburg in the Essendon District Football League