Date: 25th July 2017 at 7:53am
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Stuart Jones has been announced as the new Blackburn Head of Academy. He takes up the role vacated by Eric Kinder, who left earlier this month.

Jones, an academy player at Liverpool before a career in non-league, which ended in 2004, has been working at Ewood Park since 2011.

Initially appointed as Head of Education he moved on to the Head of Academy Operations on 2015 and has now stepped up to the overall Head of Academy at Blackburn.

He, as you would expect, told the Official Website how happy he was to be appointed and Jones, key to Blackburn’s achieving of Category 1 status, is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him.

‘I’m absolutely delighted, it is a really privileged position and I look forward to getting started and continuing the really good work that has already been done by previous Academy managers. The main thing is continuing to develop the Academy with the ultimate aim of getting Academy players into the first team, whilst continuing to deliver a Category 1 Programme.’

Adding: ‘I’ve been heavily involved around the EPPP requirements to make sure that we operate a Category 1 programme, and that is right across the board from coach development, player development, sports science and education. It has been a really good learning curve over the last six years and I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some fantastic Academy managers and I’m now ready for the challenge of stepping into those shoes. We look forward to bringing in an experienced Head of Coaching over the coming weeks, as part of the management restructure, who will work with me in relation to coach and player development.’

Director Mike Cheston went on to say he too was delighted with Rovers’ appointment and doesn’t have any doubt the clubs’ Academy are in safe hands under Jones.

‘In the first instance, we are delighted for Stuart, as he has worked very hard and it is always very satisfying in appointing someone from within the ranks. It is a true reflection of the work that not only he has done, but also a reflection of the staff in achieving Category 1 status. I do think we are in very good hands going forward at the Academy.’

Meanwhile, at first team level, reported QPR interest in Elliott Bennett has seen an offer rejected.

Blackburn and QPR ‘appear to be far apart in their valuation’, according to West London Sport.

The Championship club ‘do not currently plan to make another approach’ either, which is just as well really as the Lancashire Telegraph said Rovers have ‘issued a hands-off warning to QPR’ anyway.

Bennett, 28, only has a year on his current deal at Ewood Park but, having initially struggled to break into former boss Owen Coyle’s side, the midfielder has been a near ever present since January onward, funnily enough after an FA Cup tie against QPR, missing only two of Tony Mowbray’s games in charge.

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