Dundalk FC can confirm that Archie Davies has left the club to join English League Two club Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old joined Dundalk from Aldershot Town in January 2023 and became one of the best defenders in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

In his first season in Ireland, Davies was named the 1903 Dundalk FC Supporters Club Player of the Year and was also selected by his fellow professionals on the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year. In total, he made 63 appearances for the club.

“It was obviously a tough decision,” said Davies. “It’s something I couldn’t really turn down and I hope people understand that. 

“I’ve always said that I wanted to go back and play in the English Football League at some stage and, luckily enough, I’ve built myself a good enough platform at Dundalk for teams to be interested. When the opportunity at Carlisle came up, I would have been silly to turn it down.”

Reflecting on his time at Oriel Park, Archie described it as the ‘most enjoyable’ spell of his career to date.

“Coming over here, I was a bit in the middle of nowhere in terms of my confidence and self-belief. To get that back, get a smile on my face, and enjoy playing football again was my number one aim, and I achieved it almost immediately.

“I can only say thanks very much to everyone at Dundalk. It has been the most enjoyable spell of my career and I’m going to miss the place. I’ll miss going for coffee with the boys every day and playing at Oriel Park on a Friday night under the lights. I’ve just had loads of really, really enjoyable moments and I’m really grateful. Thank you very much and I wish you all the best.”

Davies has featured in all but one of Dundalk’s matches this season and Lilywhites manager Jon Daly said that the club had reluctantly agreed to accept the bid from Carlisle United once the player had expressed a wish to return to the UK.

“Archie has been one of the best defenders in the league over the past two seasons and we are obviously very disappointed to see him go, especially when we have only 13 games to go, but he felt this opportunity to go back to England might not come up at the end of our season.

“When a player says he wants to go, you have to start planning for life without them. The club have got a fee from him and it’s our job now to go and find somebody who can become the next Archie Davies and I’m confident we can do that.”