His ability to charge through congestion and break the lines makes him perfect for the backline I think. He seems to be at his best with angles he can cut through and the ground opening up ahead of him. Putting him on the wing gives him more space, but robs him of his strength of turning defence into attack and opening up the game
Adam Saad has played his best footy during the month of Ramadan
JON RALPH, Herald Sun
an hour ago
JAKE Stringer and a Ramadan fast are two concepts most would believe are mutually exclusive.
Stringer is best known for wild hair cuts and controversial tattoos.
Yet if Adam Saad has known for a while his decision to return to Victoria last year was correct, the last month has vindicated his choice of Essendon.
Saad has just finished the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn until sunset in celebration of his religion.
Remarkably, it has coincided with his best month of football at Essendon despite the sacrifices involved.
The pleasant surprise for Saad has been how his teammates and coaches have quickly jumped on board, eager to learn and desperate to help.
It is why Stringer has fasted with Saad for several days, and why his weights coaches are still at the club when he returns at 8pm for post-sunset weights sessions.
The 23-year-old feels at home at Essendon, with the club being rewarded as off-season recruits Saad, Devon Smith and Stringer all finally hit top form together.
Saad, who only left Gold Coast because he wanted to be closer to family and friends, quickly became aware he couldn’t have made a better decision.
“It has been unbelievable. Being back with my family and friends, and especially with them during the month of fasting, Ramadan,’’ Saad said.
“The toughest part of being on the Gold Coast was being away from them during that month. It is a month of worship and reflection and for me to be with my family is special.
“And to fast with them every single day is what I have wanted since I moved back to the Gold Coast.
“Essendon have been very supportive of me during this month. (Stringer) has done a few days (of fasting), he has jumped on board and everyone at the club has been really supportive.
“Jake just asks questions, he wants to learn, he’s been great. It does get challenging, the reasons why we do it makes it easier for us but Jake has been great through this month.”
Saad’s day during Ramadan begins at around 4.30am, eating breakfast and enough fluids to last through the entire day.
He gets to the club for meetings and training, then rests at home until breaking his fast with family around 5.15pm before another hour of rest.
It means his weights session is slotted in at around 7.30pm-8pm, and yet strength coach Paul Turk and fitness boss Justin Crow are often there lending support.
“Right from the start, the coaches and players have been really supportive and wanted to gain knowledge and have respected my religion.”
“I feel like I generally play my most consistent footy in this month. It’s such a big month and blessed month for Muslims, but I will try to be consistent all year.”
Bombers fans might have felt he lacked his characteristic bounce from half back early in the year, but Saad has always been typecast.
He says his roles on the likes of Eddie Betts, Luke Breust and Dan Butler this year are more important than attacking drive.
On Thursday night he will be tasked with stopping emerging Eagles small like Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan, attempting to beat them before he gets running up the field.
“I like the challenge of playing on the good small forward every single week and trying to beat them and attacking from there,” he said.
“People see my as a running defender but I am more of a shutdown player in some ways.
“I am playing a similar role this year (to the Gold Coast), I am running and carrying a bit more in the last four weeks, but I am just playing my role in the team.”
“It’s the same thing for me and the whole team. We prepare and watch vision and see how we can exploit their weaknesses and then we head over as a group excited for the challenge.”
He’s been a terrific pick up
Stringer also just keeps on surprising with the way he goes about things off field and around the club. That is very very unexpected to have him fasting with Saad. What a legend.
Great article, reeks of a healthy club culture.
Saad has been a great pick up.
Careful. Remember where you are.
awesome. onya adam.
Saad has been an excellent acquistion, while Stringer continues to surprise with his attempts to reinvent himself. l dips me lid to both.
l just want to add for any of those in the media who boasted about how PA had done the best out of last year’s trade period with Motlop, Rockcliff and Watts, that Watts has been dropped, while EFC with SSS are streets ahead on that deal, and edge further away with each passing week.
and there’s a video to go with the article.
Clearly a very disciplined person. An excellent recruit for the club, and one that is leading others to better things - bonus.
Who would’ve thought Stringer would have taken a religious approach to losing weight?
Thanks Mr Saad
I cannot believe this club, forces one player to do weights separately from the rest of the group and won’t even let another player eat.
This club is farked
As long as it doesn’t smell of protein shake farts.
How good has he been tonight. Keep it up
great tonight with his attacking drive out of the back half
exactly the reason we got him
great to see him show it so consistently already into his long EFC career
Geez he’s good.
Best month of his career.
Absolutely fantastic pick up.
All Australian chance at back pocket?
Love him. Apologies to Hooker but he has now become my new favourite player. His run out of the backline is insane!
I’m just surprised anyone’s seen enough of GC games to know …