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Darren heads up new arrivals

29 January 2013

Blackburn Rovers are delighted to announce the appointment of Darren Moore as the club’s new first team coach.

The former West Brom defender, who won two promotions for the Midlands club, has been working as a professional development coach for the Baggies since the summer.

Darren, 38, will be joined at Ewood Park by Luke Dowling (Head of Senior Recruitment) and Chris Neville (Head of Sports Science), who have left their roles at Portsmouth to form part of manager Michael Appleton’s new-look backroom team.

Born in Birmingham, Darren started his career at Torquay and also enjoyed successful spells with Doncaster, Bradford, Portsmouth, West Brom, Derby County, Barnsley and Burton Albion.

After calling time on a distinguished playing career almost 12 months ago, Darren returned to The Hawthorns in June, where the Jamaican international has been helping to run the club’s Under-18s. 

He said: “When the gaffer asked me to come up here and be part of his staff, I was really excited and I can’t wait to get started.

“We were team-mates together at West Bromwich Albion and after sustaining an injury early in his career, the gaffer started to pick up his coaching credentials and setting the foundations to be a really top coach and manager now.

“My career continued, but we’ve always kept that friendship going and it’s presented itself where we find ourselves working together and I’m really looking forward to working alongside him and the challenges that lie ahead.

“He’s someone that I’ve believed in from day one. He’s got excellent tactical awareness for the game and his all-round manner is perfect for the football club. I’ve seen it first hand and I’m just really looking forward to working alongside him and the rest of the staff and bringing some good times back here to Blackburn Rovers.”   

Luke arrives at Rovers from Portsmouth, where he has worked as the south-coast club’s Head of Recruitment since July. He had previously been chief scout at Wimbledon and Crystal Palace.

The 34-year-old’s career in football started as a schoolboy at Tottenham and he also had a spell at Reading, before playing and managing in non-league.

He said: “The chance to be back working with Michael Appleton, who I worked very closely with at Portsmouth, is one of the main reasons why I’m here and for it to be at a club the size of Blackburn Rovers is even better.

“Certain things need to be sorted out in the short term, but we won’t take our eye off the long-term goal, which is to get Blackburn Rovers playing Premier League football week-in week-out.

“We will try our best to bring some new faces in over the next few days, but we won’t sign players for the sake of it. We have our targets, but if they don’t fit with the structure, the way we play or if they don’t add something to the team, we won’t waste money.” 

Chris, who is part of Roy Hodgson’s England setup, had been working as the strength and conditioning coach at Portsmouth, where he has garnered a reputation as one of the leading figures in his field over the past decade. 

The 42-year-old, who spent a year away from Fratton Park to become fitness coach at LA Galaxy in the MLS, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me personally to come to a club like Blackburn Rovers. 

“From a professional point of view, the setup at the stadium and at the training ground is geared towards Premier League football and that’s why we’re here, to help drive the club forward. We’ve got some fantastic staff and some fantastic facilities, so everything is in place.

“I knew the manager when he was a player at West Brom a long time ago and then worked with him at Portsmouth. He’s very honest and he’s good to work for from that point of view. He lets us get on with our side of coaching and we’re allowed to have some input into the way the sessions are structured and the way we look after the players physically, both in terms of the intensity of training and also the way the lads recover, which, in this league with the volume of midweek and weekend games, is pretty important.”

Manager Michael Appleton added: "I'm delighted to welcome Chris, Luke and Darren to the club. I feel like we have put together a strong backroom team to add to the fantastic staff already in place. They all have a great work ethic and professionalism and can't wait to get started. I am confident they will bring a lot to the club."

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