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BTV: Crichton Contenders | Smith

6:00am  Sep 22, 2018

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2:00pm  Sep 20, 2018

Crichton Contender - Saad

Conor Walsh  September 10, 2018 1:12 PM

BTV: Crichton Contenders | Saad Defender Adam Saad had an outstanding first season in the red and black, making him a contender for this year's Crichton Medal.

An outstanding first season in the red and black from former Sun Adam Saad has the dashing defender right in the mix for next month’s Crichton Medal.

Arguably the most attacking half-back in the league, Saad proved to be one of Essendon’s most damaging players this year, repeatedly bursting through opposition lines with speed and aggression.

As soon as he stepped out for the club in the JLT Community Series, Bombers fans knew it would be an exciting season ahead for the new recruit.

While known best for his sizzling acceleration, Saad is no one-trick pony, having also impressed as a shutdown defender including in his very first game for the Bombers when he kept dangerous Crow Eddie Betts goalless.

It’s easy to forget that 2018 was only Saad’s fourth season. The 24-year-old plays with the confidence and composure of a player well past his 70 games of experience.

And it appears he is only going to get better after collecting career-high totals for disposals, rebound-50s, tackles and running bounces this year.

In fact, his 95 bounces shattered Essendon’s previous season record of 63 set by Brent Stanton in 2008. It was also more than double the next highest tally in the league, with fellow half-back Conor McKenna finishing second with 46 bounces.

BEST PERFORMANCE – Round 14 v West Coast
Saad was at his electrifying best against the Eagles at Optus Stadium after the bye when any concerns about Essendon’s record in Perth were quickly quashed. The Bombers booted 6.1 to 0.1 in the opening term as a result of some blistering football through the corridor when Saad and McKenna repeatedly broke the lines and dashed away from their opponents. The Eagles simply couldn’t catch Saad, who picked the gaps and drove the ball forward with real purpose. He eventually finished the game with 26 disposals (at an efficiency of 88.5 per cent), six running bounces and four inside-50s before being rightly rewarded with a perfect 10 AFLCA Coaches Votes.

SEASON AVERAGES
Disposals – 17.1

Disposal efficiency – 83.8 per cent
Rebound-50s – 3.4
Running bounces – 4.3

The Crichton Medal will be held at Peninsula on Thursday, October 4.

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Keep an eye on essendonfc.com.au for more Crichton Contenders in the lead up to the big night.