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I've really enjoyed the challenge

Damien Johnson has been reflecting on his first year working with the Rovers first team

29 July 2020

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Damien Johnson admits he's loved his first year working with the first team in a coaching capacity.

Johnson stepped up to join Tony Mowbray's coaching staff after excelling during his time in charge of the Development Squad.

Earning success during his time at the helm of the Under-23s, Johnson oversaw the team's Premier League 2 Division 2 triumph during 2017-18 before stablising the side in the top tier the following campaign.

Last summer saw the Northern Irishman step up to be Rovers' First Team Technical Coach & Head of Player Development.

Johnson's now working for both club and country following the announcement last month that he will combine his Rovers role alongside a new post as part of the Northern Irish national team, which will see him join up with Ian Baraclough's side during the international breaks.

And reflecting on his first year working with the first team, Johnson admits that he's enjoyed everything about his Rovers post.

“I've enjoyed it immensely. It's been a big step up for me, a big learning curve trying to come into this role, but it's been really exciting for me ever since the manager offered me the opportunity," he told iFollow Rovers.

“I've loved every minute of it, but I'm still keen to get better, to do more and keep pushing on.

“The manager talks openly about the culture that we're trying to create here and I think people sometimes think that the mentality development is pitched towards the younger players and the Academy, but I think it's just as important to help the guys in the first team to be better and to maximise their potential as well.

“We owe that to them as coaches and it's important that we provide them with the right environment.

“If we can improve the individual then hopefully that can go a long way to improving the team

“That's the be all and end all. We have to constantly try to push the team forward, and whether that means new players coming in or young players coming through, we have to strive to improve them and help them.

“It's a really good group here and I've been welcomed in by the players and the staff," he added.

"I think, speaking as a former player myself, there are different ways for people to learn and it's about building a personal relationship with each individual, learning about what makes them tick.

“It's important that you understand what each player needs as a coach. It takes time but I've really enjoyed the challenge of it.”

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