Holmes unfazed by contract speculation

Max Holmes (Ivan Kemp) 299512_35

Geelong speedster Max Holmes is putting contract speculation and comparisons to Chris Judd aside as he attempts to establish himself as one of the AFL’s breakout stars.

There is plenty of hype around Holmes heading into Geelong’s season opener against St Kilda at the newly-renovated GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.

He is out of contract at season’s end with reigning premiers Collingwood among those expected to push hard to snare the 21-year-old.

When asked if he saw his future at Geelong, Holmes said: “Yeah, definitely. We’ve just got to sort it out.

“I guess it’s just up to ‘Mack’ (list boss Andrew Mackie) and my manager to sort it out and then when they’re happy with it, I’ll be happy with it.”

Holmes understood speculation around his future would continue until he re-signed, but was happy to leave negotiations to his manager while he focused on football.

“I’m pretty adept at playing footy without listening to the noise,” he said.

Captain Patrick Dangerfield has previously described Holmes, who missed the 2022 flag through a hamstring injury, as “Judd-like”.

Holmes, with 51 games under his belt, is taking the lofty comparison to the two-time Brownlow Medallist in his stride.

“That was a bit silly. I don’t know why he had to come up with a big call like that,” Holmes said.

“He could have just been nice about my game without doing that. But hopefully I can try to make him seem a little more credible.

“I haven’t seen it as much so far as maybe Patty has but I was very flattered with the compliment.

“So yeah, I guess we just keep trying to push towards that. But I’m not putting a ceiling on anything at the moment.”

Holmes had expected to play on-ball this year but dynamic displays off half-back, after being thrown “in the deep end” in training – including a 29-disposal effort against Essendon – may have made the decision for him.

“I’m on a need-to-know basis at the moment, so I just get told where I’m playing, and I just go do it,” he said.

“Probably a little bit at half-back at the moment, but it’s probably subject to change throughout the year – in the guts as well and on the wing.

“The way that AFL is going at the moment, the half-back role probably does seem to suit my traits.

“I always have seen myself as a inside midfielder but … I played pretty well the other day on the half-back.

“A lot of teams are using faster runners off the half-back to try and produce some bounce off the half-back and if that works for us, then I’m happy to.”