GEELONG draftee Max Holmes has bolted from the clouds and will make his AFL debut in the Easter Monday blockbuster against Hawthorn at the MCG.
The 18-year-old speedster, who was drafted as a long-term prospect, has starred in two recent VFL practice matches – including a best-on-ground performance against Port Melbourne alongside Patrick Dangerfield last week.
The Cats swapped their 2021 first-round selection with Richmond's pick No.20 during last year's NAB AFL Draft to secure Holmes, who has had limited recent football experience.
The son of dual Olympian and Commonwealth Gold medallist Lee Naylor, Holmes claimed the Australian under-18 400m hurdles title as a junior.
The 189cm prospect was initially seen as an outside runner but has also impressed playing minutes as an inside midfielder in the reserves hitouts.
Holmes played just three matches in 2019 across Melbourne Grammar and the Sandringham Dragons before his season was cut short with a broken arm.
Like other Victorian juniors, his 2020 was heavily interrupted by COVID-19.
Holmes also tested incredibly well at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne, recording 2.80 seconds in the 20m sprint.
The Cats will be forced into at least one change with Gary Rohan missing through suspension.
Gun midfielder Mitch Duncan is expected to return from a calf injury, while Sam Menegola is touch-and-go to be recalled after a shoulder injury sustained in round one.