St Kilda FC – Holmes Signs on for 2016
The rapid improvement of St Kilda’s international rookie Jason Holmes has resulted in a one-year contract extension for the 2016 season.
Until recently, the American-born Holmes had never heard of Australian football let alone played it but after completing his career as a college basketballer, tried his hand at an AFL combine.
The Saints selected him with pick 36 at the 2014 Rookie Draft and immediately set upon fast-tracking his development through the club’s VFL affiliate Sandringham.
The 25-year-old has since become a staple of the Zebras outfit, transferring his basketball skills to become the team’s number one ruckman.
St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said the contract extension was a suitable reward for the development Holmes had shown in a short period of time.
“Jason came to us with tremendous athleticism and a competitive nature but very little understanding of Australian football,” Richardson told SAINTS.com.au
“To come to the other side of the world to try your hand at a game you know very little about says a bit about his character and willingness to succeed at elite sport.
“His willingness to learn and develop has been a key factor in his rise and we are excited about the potential he has shown.”
Holmes – who has been trialled as a forward in recent weeks – said he was thrilled to commit to a third year with the Saints.
“This whole experience has been a steep learning curve for me and I am feeling like I am improving as a footballer,” Holmes said.
“The club has helped fast-track my learning of the game with detailed coaching and tuition and I am grateful for the investment my coaches and teammates have made in me.
“My ultimate goal is to play at the highest level and I will continue to work as hard as I can to achieve that dream.”
The recent season ending shin injury to Jack Billings has created an avenue for Holmes to be elevated to the senior list for an AFL debut.