Damien Johnson: Former NI midfielder promoted to first-team coaching staff at Rovers

Damien Johnson
Johnson finished his playing career at Fleetwood Town

Former Northern Ireland international Damien Johnson has been promoted to the first team coaching staff at Blackburn Rovers.

The ex-Birmingham City midfielder has taken on the role of the Championship club's first team technical coach and head of player development.

Johnson, who made 56 appearances for Northern Ireland, had been the Under-23s head coach at Ewood Park.

"This was a chance I just couldn't turn down," he told the club website.

Johnson came through the youth ranks at Rovers and made over 80 appearances for the first team between 1997 and 2002, before returning to the club as an academy coach in April 2015.

"It's a club that has played a huge part in my career, both as a player and a manager, and gave me my first opportunity in first team football," the former Birmingham City player added.

"It's vitally important to continue the pathway for players from Under-23s football to the first team, which is something we've done a lot over the years.

"The players need to make that transition from development squad football to the first team and that's the challenge for them."