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Ex-Saint Saad still hoping for a lifeline

Ahmed Saad of the Saints in action during the 2015 NAB Challenge Week 4 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on March 19, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Ahmed Saad will complete his own training regime to give himself a chance of finding a new AFL home.

AHMED Saad is completing his own training regime over the off-season in the hope of earning an AFL lifeline after being cut from St Kilda's rookie list.

The small forward, who is working with personal trainer Adam Iacobucci, is desperate to continue his career and believes overcoming past hurdles should make him an attractive proposition for clubs.

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Saad was promoted to the Saints’ senior list prior to the 2015 season and played the first four games, but he was overtaken by younger players in a developing team with an eye to the future.

"It was good for the club that we didn't have injuries, but it was bad for me that we had the healthiest list in the AFL up until the last couple of rounds," Saad told SEN.

"I would've loved to have gotten back in the team and proved that I can play at that level and be a good player for the club.

"Unfortunately that didn't happen and the club's decided to go a different way."

Saad was first delisted in November 2013 midway through the anti-doping hearing into his positive test for a prohibited stimulant contained in an energy drink — a hearing that ultimately saw him banned for 18 months.

He said he appreciated St Kilda's support through that period and their ultimate decision to relist him once his ban was served.

"At this time last year I didn't know what was going to go on, and two years before that I didn't know whether I was going to ever play football again," Saad said. 

"This (being delisted) is a little bit easier than the past couple of years, but I want to continue to train just like I did last year on my own towards the draft.

"I work pretty hard and that's proven by me working on my own last year to get back into AFL condition — and I did that." 

Saad made his debut in 2012, kicking 28 goals from 16 games having been recruited as a mature-aged player from the VFL. 

He played 13 games the following season before being handed the 18-month anti-doping ban. 

The emergence of fellow rookie small forward Jack Sinclair this year made the fight for opportunities tougher, and Saad spent the majority of the season in the VFL.