After his move to Carlisle United was confirmed, Luke Joyce wanted to pass on the following message to all Stanley supporters.
“It’s been an unbelievably difficult decision, not just for myself but for my family. It’s going to mean me spending a bit more time away from home but ultimately it’s a decision that we feel will benefit my football life and my family life. It’s a decision that has given me more than a few sleepless nights and one that I’ll live with for the rest of my career.
“I love Accrington Stanley and it’s been like a second home to me for the last six years. They gave me my chance in professional football really because that summer when I left Carlisle nobody else was on the phone really trying to sign me. If it wasn’t for Accrington I might not be a professional today. I owe the club a lot and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time. I hope the fans have enjoyed having me. I’ve enjoyed playing in front of them.
“I’ve made some great friends and met some great people. I have pictures on my wall at home of me playing for Accrington and they will probably stay up there forever. I have some great memories. I’ve been captain for the last three and a half years or so and having that honour was probably one of the proudest moments of my career. I’ve felt immense pride every time I’ve walked the lads out home or away and that’s something I won’t forget.
“There’s no other club I know of where you can walk into the press office or reception and have a laugh and be treated like a member of the family. My decision hasn’t been taken because of the people at the club because it’s one big family and everyone, from Chairman to supporters, loves the club with a passion and is desperate for it to do well. That’s the one aspect above all that I’ve loved every day for six years.
“There’s a bit of unfinished business with Carlisle. I didn’t really make a massive statement there last time as a young lad and I didn’t play as much as I would’ve liked. I had a few regrets that I didn’t really show Carlisle the type of player I was. I have the chance to change that now. For that reason Carlisle’s one of the few clubs I would consider leaving Accrington Stanley for. I’m not sure how I’ll feel on the day if I end up playing against the club but I’m sure it’ll be a surreal experience. It’ll be the first fixture I look for when they come out.
“Thankyou to every manager, coach, player, member of staff and supporter that I’ve met and got to know wearing Stanley red and the very best of luck to everyone at the club for the future.”