Max Holmes ahead of the 2024 AFL season. Picture: AFL Photos

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 best young players.

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 and has been the subject of plenty of trade speculation heading into the new season.

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.

"I'm pretty adept at playing footy without listening to the noise."

Captain Patrick Dangerfield has previously described Holmes, who missed the 2022 flag due to 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.

Max Holmes celebrates a goal during the round eight match between Geelong and Adelaide on May 6, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"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."

The Cats will attempt to kick off 2024 with victory over the Saints at GMHBA Stadium, which is now at 40,000 capacity after renovations were completed.


The club will unveil the new Joel Selwood Stand, while the Gary Ablett Terrace safe standing section - with railings similar to major soccer stadiums in Europe - has Holmes particularly excited.

"I'm really excited about it. I'm hoping it gets a bit crazy up there," he said.

"We've all been talking about it. We were talking about it last week and we were like 'God, if we kick a very clutch goal out in that pocket, it'll be bloody hectic'.

"We were saying 'what would you do?' I was saying I'd jump up on the railing here and celebrate.

"I'm really excited to see what it's like and I think the whole stand in general is really cool. But yeah, that bit especially is pretty awesome."