Rovers have received healthy interest in their Under-23s managerial position.

The role is currently vacant after Damien Johnson was promoted to first-team technical coach and head of player development earlier this month. Johnson guided the Under-23s to fifth in Premier League 2 last season, having won the Division Two title 12 months earlier.

The Northern Irishman has built up an excellent reputation in his four years as Under-23s head coach and rewarded with a role within the first-team set-up.

Academy chief Stuart Jones and head of coaching Tony Carss will be charged with identifying Johnson’s replacement, with several high-profile figures within the game understood to have applied.

However, an internal appointment hasn’t been ruled out with applications for the role having closed last week.

A number of the Under-23s squad travelled with the first-team squad to Austria and featured in the opening friendly at Barrow on July 6 and could do again at Mansfield tomorrow - with an Academy game at Clitheroe scheduled for Thursday.

Johnson has helped oversee the development of a number of the club’s promising youngsters, with four players making their senior debuts last season, and the role will be an attractive proposition for the new incumbent.

The 40-year-old, who played for the club between 1997 and 2002, was without an assistant last season following the departure of David Dunn.

The likes of Under-18s boss Billy Barr, his assistant Mike Sheron, and Carss, were on hand to offer support to Johnson throughout the last campaign which ended with them lifting the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Johnson was part of the week-long training camp in Austria, with Mowbray pleased with his integration.

He said: “Damien’s a wonderful coach. “We watched him with the Under-23s and he’s very intense in what he does.

“We’re developing the training ground with some analysis booths and video areas and are trying to create a learning culture.

“I think that’s where Damien’s background is coming from to be honest.

“For us, making the smoothness of a transition from the development squad to the first team as easy as possible is a big thing.

“Hopefully Damien will enjoy things and we can improve everything.”

Rovers Under-18s are yet to play a friendly this summer and with several Under-23s involved for the first-team they could feature at Clitheroe on Thursday (7.45pm).

The Under-23s also have games scheduled against Kendal Town (July 23), Southport (July 28) and Lancaster City (July 31) before their season starts next month.