Rovers have added to their first-team fitness coaching department.

Jack Dowling has been appointed as first-team athletic performance coach and joins from Everton where he worked for eight years.

Dowling will assist Liam Mason who heads up the first-team fitness coaching and the appointment comes as Chris Rush, head of athletic performance at Rovers, is set to leave the club this month.

Rush announced in January that he would be stepping down from his post, after a decade with the club, in March. He said his decision to leave the club was for family reasons and bring to an end his 15-year career working in professional football.

Dowling joined Everton in 2013 and has worked his way through the ranks at Goodison Park to his most recent role as lead strength and conditioning coach for the club’s Academy.

He has among the first-team coaching staff for Tuesday’s game at Reading after taking up his post this month.

Writing on LinkedIn, he said: “My career in football started as a volunteer coach at the age of 16.

“During my time at university I gained a place on the Everton Sport Science Internship which led me into my role of Sports Scientist and then Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for the academy.

“I spent six seasons helping academy players with the physical side of the game and on their journey to the first team. I am now very excited to begin my new journey at Blackburn Rovers as the first team Athletic Performance Coach.

“A big thanks to all the staff at Everton for my experiences so far. See you in the future.”