ROVERS have appointed former player Tony Carss as the club’s new head of Academy coaching.

Carss, a player with Rovers in his youth, replaces David Lowe who became the club’s first-team coach as part of a summer re-shuffle in the coaching department.

He will work alongside Stuart Jones, who was appointed as Head of Academy last month, replacing Eric Kinder.

Carss most recently worked at Huddersfield Town, where he previously spent seven years between 2007 and 2014, before three years with Leeds United where he was in charge of the club’s Under-18s.

Of returning to Ewood Park, the 41-year-old said: “It’s been a while, but it’s great to come back,”

“Driving down to the Academy, I got that feeling again which reminded me of what it was like in 1994-95, which was obviously a great season for the club.

“The facilities and the reputation the Academy has here of getting young players through is something I’m excited by and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“My time at Huddersfield was great for my development and hopefully I can pass on the experiences that I’ve had to the coaches and players here moving forward. It’s been a good journey so far and it’s the start of a new one.” 

Carss signed his first professional contract with Rovers in 1994 as an 18-year-old, and he would go on to play for Darlington, Cardiff City, Chesterfield, Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic and Huddersfield Town.

However, injury forced him to retire at the age of 30 when he moved in to coaching.

Carss’ appointment comes a month after Rovers confirmed their commitment to a Category One Academy despite relegation to League One.

Academy chief Jones added: “Tony will play a massive part in relation to the coach and player development process.

“He will bring a vast amount of experience, having been Head of Coaching at Huddersfield. He will come in from a footballing perspective and will work with myself in terms of developing our coaches, looking at our coaching programme and making sure that we’re developing our players.

“We’re going to work hard over the coming months to have a link with the first team in ensuring that the key principles that are implemented up at the Senior Training Centre are continuing right through the Academy and he will have a big part to play in that.”