YOU could call him the accidental leader, but a newfound responsibility sits comfortably with Jack Redpath. 

Despite just playing 34 games in five seasons at Whitten Oval, Redpath is a highly respected figure, and the admiration from his peers has seen the 26-year-old unanimously voted into the Bulldogs' leadership group for the first time.

A self-confessed country boy, the former carpenter believes his honest approach and an ability to relate to all walks of life have been central to his elevated standing at the Dogs.

"I had a chat with the club at the end of last year on whether I'd be willing to do it if the boys threw up my name, and my name kept coming up, which was good," Redpath told 

"I don't think I've ever tried to be part of the leadership group, I've just had good relationships within the group, I like to think I work hard and look after myself. 

"I think it came from working at a younger age and coming into the club at 21, because I had a bit of life experience.

"When the boys threw my name up, I jumped at the opportunity."

Upon announcing the news to the whole playing group, a proud Luke Beveridge revealed it was a "great realisation" for he and the other coaches that the hugely popular key forward was also so highly valued by his teammates. 

"He regulates the professionalism and spirit side of things as much as anyone, and he's really honest when he speaks," Beveridge said. 

"That's what we are urging (the whole group) to do – walk the walk."

Redpath fully understands joining a leadership group headed by new skipper Easton Wood "doesn't guarantee" him a game each week, and knows he'll have to contend with Tom Boyd and recruit Josh Schache for a spot in attack.

But after years of failing to convince the Bulldogs he was a long-term AFL player, the hulking goalkicker received a strong show of faith recently when he signed his first multi-year contract. 

"It was always good to get some security after signing six or seven one-year deals, so getting the (two-year) contract sorted, and then to be put in the leadership group was great. 

"Now, it's just about getting through the pre-season, working hard and rolling into next year and enjoying it like I did last year. 

"The goal is to be in the best 22 every week, but our tall stocks are looking good, and that can only be a positive for the club. 

"It makes you work that little bit harder if someone is just behind you or just in front of you." 

It's been a bittersweet past few months for the Kyneton product, with his cherished but battered Ford Falcon AU finally giving up the ghost after years of being a constant in his rise to high regard.

A new Mazda his reward. 

"I'm spewing because it broke down twice in the one week, so I ended up giving it to a bloke," Redpath said.

"I bought it for $600 and I did 20,000kms in it, so it wasn't too bad."