FOR reliable defender Liam Jones, a leadership role was not on his radar until recently.

Jones was announced as part of Carlton’s seven-man leadership group on Monday morning alongside fellow newcomers Sam Walsh and Jacob Weitering.

Speaking to media following the announcement, Jones reflected on his journey to the team-first mentality that earned him a spot in the group.

“I never thought being in the leadership group would be something that I could achieve,” Jones said.

“Mainly this pre-season I’ve really taken a backwards step out of my own game and looked at the younger players and I’ve just tried to help as many people as I can.

“To be acknowledged by my teammates for this role, I’m really honoured and really grateful.”

The 28-year-old sparked his career with a move to the backline after playing forward when he first entered the system.

The versatile veteran is proud of the transition he has been able to make, eager to inspire new Blues to remain optimistic throughout their playing careers.

“It’s one thing I’ve tried to instil in the guys that are stuck in the VFL or that guys that may be a bit out of favour,” he said.

“Don’t worry, I was a lot out of favour, so never give up and you never know what can happen.

“A miracle can happen and luck can change your way if you just keep working hard. I believe that hard work pays off.”

With just over a month until Round 1, Jones is eager to see Bluebaggers get behind the group as they seek to prove themselves against the reigning premiers.

“The supporters will be behind us and we’ll be throwing everything we can at them.”