Billy Barr has been appointed as Rovers Under-23s boss, making the step up from the Under-18s.

Barr fills the position which has been vacant since Damien Johnson was promoted to first-team technical coach in June.

In turn, Mike Sheron will take over sole charge of the Under-18s having previously been assistant to Barr.

Barr arrived at Rovers in 2014 and was chosen as the man to replace Johnson following the interview process headed up by Head of Academy Stewart Jones, Head of Academy coaching Tony Carss and first-team boss Tony Mowbray.

"I'm very pleased to get this opportunity," said Barr, who played for Halifax Town, Crewe Alexandra and Carlisle United

"I've been at the club for nearly five years now, it's my second promotion up the coaching ladder, but more importantly I'm excited about the group of players I'm going to work with again.

"They've all come through the Academy, a lot of good work has gone into them from a lot of people, and now we've got to try and recreate last year's feel-good factor within in the group.

"I really enjoyed my life at the Academy and I'm leaving a really good job behind, but we all work very closely together and hopefully this unites us and brings us even closer together.

"It's been a while since I've been around a first team environment, but I'm looking forward to getting to know and building relationships with all of the players and to help them in any way that I can."

Jones says Barr’s knowledge of the players within the current Under-23s set-up proved key in his appointment.

He added: "The process was really thorough and a variety of staff were involved, including myself, Tony Carss and Tony Mowbray, in order to identify the best candidate for the job and, ultimately, Billy has been given the post on that basis.

"It's great that he's been appointed from within and, from our perspective, I think it's really important that we have a pathway for staff within the Academy.

"Billy has got great experience, in terms of his work in youth development and with senior players, he's highly qualified and, ultimately, he's worked with players who are now in the Under-23s, who have come through the Academy system, so he has a great understanding of those boys and he has played a part in their development."

Sheron led the Under-18s to a 5-2 victory at Sunderland and will know get the opportunity to take sole charge of the team.

And Jones added: "It's great for Mike. He was obviously assistant to Billy with the Under-18s and, again, he has shown over the time that he's been with us that he's ready for that challenge of taking on the lead role.

"I'm sure that Mike will put his own stamp on it and it's a great opportunity for him, which is fully deserved."