Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Saad Grateful to Suns for Their Show of Faith

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Saad Grateful to Suns for Their Show of Faith

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY MALLINDER APN SPORTS BUREAU

GAME DAY

LIONS V SUNS

At the Gabba, 4.35pm

Also: Magpies v Blues 1.45, Dogs v Power 2.10pm, Cats v Swans 7.20pm, Eagles v Hawks 7.40pm

THE Gold Coast got more than just a dashing rebounding halfback when they drafted Adam Saad last year.

They also got a huge influx of new supporters -- including Saad's mum and dad, Nejma and Zas, his five brothers and sisters and extended members of the tight-knit Lebanese family, from in and around the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

About 100 were at the MCG in round one, proudly donning the red and yellow and holding signs that read 'Go Saady' when he made his debut against Melbourne, and many regularly make the trek up to Carrara for Suns' home games.

Ahead of today's Multicultural Round QClash at the Gabba, Saad told APN his family had been footy fans "24/7" since his parents migrated to Australia in the 1970s.

Well, almost all of them.

"My mum didn't like it at the start, she never used to come and watch ... but she's learnt a lot about the game and really enjoys it now," he said. "My dad's been a footy fanatic since I can remember. He follows Collingwood.

"They try and come up every couple of weeks ... if not my mum, then my sisters. And I've got a fair few cousins that come up as well.

"It's helped with the transition."

As a devout Muslim -- just the third to reach the AFL after Bachar Houli (Richmond) and Ahmed Saad (St Kilda) -- the just-turned 21-year-old admits being forced to live away from home has had its difficulties.

"It's just easier when you're with family ... but I'm getting through it," said Saad, who is living with a host family.

"It has been a massive move. But I decided to live out my dream, and if it meant moving away from home and family, I just had to do it."

Saad is grateful to the Suns for not only finally giving him a chance as a rookie last December, after being overlooked in three national drafts, but also for catering for his needs. …

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