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New Blue Adam Saad has refused to outline in detail the reasons behind his decision to leave the Bombers after three seasons preferring to express gratitude to his former club for his experiences over 61 games.
Saad's departure blindsided Essendon's president Paul Brasher and sparked an investigation led by him into what might lie behind the decision of several key players to leave the club at the end of the season.
However Saad said his decision was based on what was best for him and his family and after wrestling for weeks with making the call and consulting his former Gold Coast teammate Jack Martin, who is now at the Blues, he made his mind up that his future lay at Carlton.
"There's a couple of good reasons [for leaving Essendon] I won't make that public. I just want to say I'm grateful to the Essendon football club and [list manager] Adrian Dodoro for bringing me back home," Saad said.
"It was a tough decision … at the end of the day sometimes you have to make big decisions about what is best for yourself and family.
"Family is so important to me so I felt like a fresh start and a new challenge was something I needed to do at this time in my career so I am just really grateful. This is what is best for myself and family."
Saad, who finished third in the Bombers' past two best and fairests, said the experience he had in the hub was positive overall and did not lead to him wanting to leave and he said he was happy to do whatever was required on-field to help the team, both at Essendon and Carlton.
He said he was looking to improve all aspects of his game but was happy to play a lockdown or rebounding role at the Blues who are expected to use him as a high defender launching attacks. Saad joked he would need to work on his ruck craft too making light of any perception he might not be prepared to do what the team needs.
The talent on Carlton's list and their need for speed also attracted Saad, who gained Essendon pick eight in the deal that went through on Wednesday.
"The club is heading into an exciting phase. I thought I could get to the club, improve myself as a player and add to the team and see where that takes us," Saad said.
He said his off-field activity was also important and he hoped to develop the Adam Saad Academy even further while at the Blues.
"I'm trying to make a difference and [have] a positive impact in the community," Saad said.
He estimates 200-300 people might switch allegiances from Essendon to Carlton as a result of his move but was at pains to communicate his appreciation to Essendon fans for their support when he was at the Bombers.
"I have 70 first cousins … I''ll be disappointed if they don't join up," Saad said.
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