AHMED Saad is back on St Kilda’s radar, with Saints coach Alan Richardson giving a strong indication the club might re-draft the banned footballer.
Saad was slapped with an 18-month suspension last November for taking a prohibited substance and was delisted by the Saints.
The 24-year-old’s ban was backdated to August 2013 and expires in February 2015.
That timeframe presents a challenge for Saad to play football next year, but Richardson said the Saints are open to re-drafting the forward, who played 29 games in two seasons.
“We think that Ahmed potentially has a bit to offer,” Richardson said on Thursday.
“He played some good footy for us – albeit a while ago now – but he has the attributes if he can get back in shape.
“It’s a bit of a challenge for him given that he’s been away from an AFL environment.
“It’s a tricky situation because he won’t be able to work with us physically in our program until after the draft so that’s going to be a bit of a challenge.
“He’ll have to make sure he works really hard on his own to get himself to the standard required for AFL footy, but that will be up to Ahmed.”
Richardson confirmed the Saints have been in contact with Saad during his time away from the game.
“There’s been a little bit of dialogue. We have to be a little bit mindful we’re not allowed to work with Ahmed at all,” he said.
“The conversations have more been from a welfare perspective to see how he’s tracking and support him in that area, but there’s no doubt he’ll certainly be in the mix.“We can give him guidance, but we certainly can’t work with him until his ban is up.”