JOHN Filan last night became the newest member of Blackburn Rovers’ coaching staff and then declared – it’s like I’ve never been away.
The former Australia international goalkeeper has been appointed as the club’s new U21s assistant coach.
Filan, part of the Rovers squad which won promotion to the Premiership in 2001, had been working with the club’s keepers while goalkeeping coach John Keeley recovered from injury.
Keeley is now fully fit and back putting Paul Robinson, Jake Kean, Simon Eastwood and David Raya through their paces.
But Filan, 44, will not be leaving Rovers for the second time after first team boss Gary Bowyer offered him the chance to become U21s head coach Eric Kinder’s number two.
“I’ve been away from the club for a long time and people have told me there’s been a bit turmoil and trouble in the past years but to be honest when I walked back in, it had the same feeling when I first came here in ‘97,” said Filan, who made 73 appearances for Rovers before moving to Wigan Athletic in December 2001.
“It’s got that feeling and the people around the place appear to have Blackburn’s best interests at heart.”
Filan’s return to Rovers came after a chance meeting with Bowyer’s assistant manager Terry McPhillips.
“After meeting Terry I got a phone call from Gary and the boss asked me to help out with the goalkeepers,” said Filan, who has taken over the position previously held by Colin Hendry.
“I enjoyed the five weeks and in the process the U21s job was open, they suggested I apply and thankfully they’ve taken me on and I’m really happy.”