Dundalk FC is delighted to announce the signing of Gibraltar international Louie Annesley from Blackburn Rovers.

The 22-year-old, who has been capped 35 times by his country, has signed a multi-year contract at Oriel Park and is our first new arrival ahead of the 2023 SSE Airtricity League of Ireland season.

“Dundalk is a club I was aware of from the success they’ve had over the past decade and from playing in the Europa League group stages so when Stephen (O’Donnell) rang me, my ears pricked up straight away,” Annesley told dundalkfc.com.

“The vision he sold me, aiming to win league titles and cups, and making real progress in Europe, is something that definitely appeals to me and everything added up to make it the perfect move for me at this stage of my career.”

Annesley was introduced to his new teammates on Monday before taking part in training and he said he was impressed by the tempo of the session.

“Training was really intense,” he said, “the standard was excellent and I really enjoyed it. I’m raring to go and can’t wait for the first league game of the season to come around on February 17th.”

Louie Annesley signs for Dundalk FC. Photo: Dundalk FC/Ciaran Culligan

Born in London, Annesley spent time at the Chelsea academy as a youngster before starting his senior career at non-league club Cobham.

After a short spell at Barnet, he joined Lincoln Red Imps in early 2018, making his debut in a UEFA Europa League tie against Welsh outrfit The New Saints.

He moved to Blackburn Rovers in 2019 and made his sole appearance for the first-team in a Carabao Cup tie away to Bradford City last August. Either side of that, he had further loan spells at Woking and Barnet.

Annesley became the first player to represent Gibraltar at every age group from U16 to senior level when he made his national team debut against Latvia in 2018. He scored his first goal for Gibraltar in their 2-1 loss against Georgia in the UEFA Nations League last September .

Louie played in both of Gibraltar’s EURO 2020 qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland. The countries have been drawn in the same group for this year’s EURO 2024 qualifying campaign and Annesley said the head-to-head with the Boys In Green carried even more significance now that he is at Dundalk.

“It’s going to be weird,” he smiled. “I’m excited for those two games, especially now that I’m at Dundalk. Hopefully, I’ll have a couple of supporters in the Irish end!”