NEW CARLTON coach Michael Voss has earmarked new recruit Lewis Young and swingman Mitch McGovern as likely replacements for Liam Jones in defence.

Jones' sudden retirement - after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine - left a hole for Voss to fill as one of his first tasks, but he's confident he already has the charges to do the job.

"We were disappointed [Jones] wasn't able to join us, but at the same time we respect the decision he's come to," Voss said.

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He's been inspiring: Voss on Doc, how Walsh can get to 'another level'

Aaron Pereira brings you all the latest from the pre-season session at Ikon Park

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"It was always going to come down to individual choice.

"The big thing for us today is the focus is not so much about who's not here but who is here.

"The conversations that we have with him are quite private and his reasons for that are quite private and we'll respect that."

Carlton's Liam Jones and Adelaide's Riley Thilthorpe in R15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

On his first official day on the track, Voss left most of the hands-on work to new assistant Ashley Hansen and coaching director Greg Williams, as the majority of the playing list reported to Ikon Park.

While only first-to-fourth-year players were required, only a handful of players didn’t front up to the first session, with Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Charlie Curnow adding muscle in the off-season.

New recruits Young, Adam Cerra and George Hewett were also part of the first session, with co-captain Sam Docherty watching on from the sidelines after the recent return of his cancer diagnosis.

Docherty underwent chemotherapy treatment after a routine medical check-up in August revealed a secondary cancer occurrence.

But his attitude to the cancer battle has galvanised a playing group determined to rebound from a sluggish 2021 campaign that ended in the sacking of coach David Teague.

All Carlton players shaved their heads during the off-season as a fundraiser for the Peter Mac Cancer Foundation and in support of Docherty.

Blues co-captain Sam Docherty. Picture: @dochertysam Instagram

Voss, who Docherty played under in his first two seasons at Brisbane, said the positive attitude the one-time AFL All-Australian had shown was rubbing off on the entire group.

"Having caught up with him (Docherty) a few times during the last few weeks and just seeing how is energy is and where his focus lies, he's completely not on himself, it's all about how the boys are and how they're training," Voss said.

"Just his positive approach to it has been fairly inspiring.

"We'll be guided largely by the docs (about when Docherty resumes training) and even they'll be guided by how he feels.

"For him at the moment, a significant milestone's probably been made and that he's back with us.

"He's getting back around the group is such a big win and we'll get him back a little bit more."