“I want to genuinely work my socks off for the Club” | Ruel Sotiriou’s first interview

Ruel Sotiriou at The Quarters training ground

It has been an occasion of ‘firsts’ for Ruel Sotiriou

A first transfer, which means the first time doing a medical, a first time moving to a new area, as well as a first time looking around a new training ground.

Not to mention a first time doing a signing interview.

It is a process the striker is eager to embrace and relish, having joined Bristol Rovers from Leyton Orient on a three-year deal with the option of a further season.

The 23-year-old has spent his entire career with the Os prior to this moment, but the ambition to progress and plan in place at The Memorial Stadium made the decision a straightforward one.

“This is the first time I’ve done a transfer before and I’ve enjoyed the process,” Sotiriou said. “I was speaking to a friend of mine who did the same thing for the first time last season, and he was telling me to make sure I enjoyed every moment of it. I’ve tried to do that and it’s been a fun experience.

Ruel Sotiriou in the dressing room

“I’m feeling really happy to be here. I’m very excited to join Bristol Rovers. I know this is a big Club and I can’t wait to get going.

“I think it’s clear to see this Club is just going to go higher and higher. There is a clear plan in place to take Bristol Rovers to the next level. I know the stature of the Club is already big but it’s exciting to think where it could be in the near future too. With the improvements coming across the board, it’s a big challenge and an exciting one too. To play for a Club like this is going to be brilliant.”

Talks with manager Matt Taylor have only helped to further convince the forward that Rovers is the right place for him to continue his development.

Sotiriou knows he still has plenty to learn to reach his full potential. The 23-year-old wants to do that in the blue-and-white quarters, and show the Rovers fans just exactly what he can offer.

Ruel Sotiriou poses

He continued: “I’ve spoken to the gaffer a couple of times and he is a really positive person. He knows what he wants from his team and I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I think, in my position, it’s obvious that I’m being brought in to try and score goals for the team. But on top of that, I want to genuinely work my socks off for the Club, the shirt and the fans and to help the team win games.

“I feel really good. Football is a confidence game so I want to get my first goal for this Club as quickly as I possibly can. I want to find the net as often as I can and score even more goals than I did last year, and help Rovers finish as high up the league as we can.

“Not to sound bigheaded, but I think I’ve scored a few worldies! I’ve found a way of scoring quite a few good goals, and I think now I need to consistently add the other sort of goals into my game. I believe in myself and I’m confident I can do that here.”

I want to genuinely work my socks off for the Club, the shirt and the fans and to help the team win games.
Ruel Sotiriou

With the likes of Scott Sinclair, Antony Evans, Luke Thomas and others creating chances, Sotiriou is already excited to get on the end of the quality passes his new teammates can provide.

Just as appealing is the chance to play alongside and learn from a player like Chris Martin, who the newest Rovers signing believes can teach him a lot about the best ways to play up front.

“I’ve played against the team here a couple of times and I can see the quality,” Sotiriou explained. “From a creative standpoint, I’m excited by that because I want to be getting on the end of those chances the team are creating.

“I know competition for places will be tough too. Players like Chris Martin, Jevani Brown, Scott Sinclair, they’ve got CVs that speak for themselves. Chris is another out-and-out striker who has Premier League experience and played a lot of games in the Championship, and that’s the level I want to be at.

“To play with players like Chris, who have been there, is a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to learning from the experienced lads already here and also showing them what I can do.”


It will not be long until Sotiriou gets a first look at his new teammates and they, in turn, get a chance to see what their newest squad member is all about. Pre-season gets underway next week and, while the attacker knows about the work required, Sotiriou is eager to meet everyone and put in the graft.

Even more exciting is the chance to play at The Memorial Stadium as a Rovers player. That is another first time that Sotiriou will be sure to savour every moment of.

“The running in pre-season is quite hard!” he added. “But the best bit is the team bonding and getting to know the other lads. Pre-season is the right time to build that team spirit and get a good bond in the group. It will be hard work but good fun too, and I’m ready to get going.

“I cannot wait for my first time on the pitch at The Mem as a Rovers player. Every single time I’ve visited The Mem as an opposition player, the team talk has centred around quieting the home crowd as quickly as possibly because of how loud and supportive the fans are. To be on this side of it now is really exciting and it will be great to play for the Bristol Rovers fans.”

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