Bristol Rovers sign UK Cypriot Ruel Sotiriou

Bristol Rovers FC is delighted to announce the signing of Cyprus international striker Ruel Sotiriou from Leyton Orient.

Sotiriou joins the Gas after seven years in the first team with the O’s and has put pen-to-paper on an three-year deal with the Club, with an option for a further season.

The 23-year-old finished the 2023/24 campaign as Orient’s top goalscorer, netting 12 times in all competitions, and has scored 38 goals for the side during his career.

The forward is Rovers’ third signing of the summer, following Isaac Hutchinson and Clinton Mola in moving to the Club, and joins after Rovers agreed a compensation package with Orient.

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’m feeling really happy to be here,” Sotiriou said. “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.”

Manager Matt Taylor is pleased to sign a striker of Sotiriou’s ability and is looking forward to seeing the forward in action for Rovers.

Taylor said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Ruel the Club. Ruel has shown his goalscoring ability in the last few years and proved he can find the net in League One last season.

“The challenge now is for Ruel to build on his form and continue to get even better, not just in front of goal but in his all-round game, and we’re looking forward to helping him do that here at Bristol Rovers.”

Ruel Sotiriou poses at The Quarters

Born in Edmonton, England, Sotiriou joined the Leyton Orient Academy as a youngster and made his debut for The Os as a 17-year-old, in an FA Cup fourth qualifying round fixture with Dagenham & Redbridge.

Further appearances followed against Macclesfield Town and Gateshead in late October, and versus Gillingham and Torquay United in November, before a month’s loan with Heybridge Swifts in December 2017. Sotiriou scored twice in three outings for the side, including a finish on his debut against Waltham Abbey.

Further short-term loans followed with Leatherhead, Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford City before a loan to Hampton & Richmond Borough in February 2019 for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign where Sotiriou would score six goals in nine games.

Following a short loan with Dover at the start of the 2019/20 season, Sotiriou made his league debut for Orient in December 2019. The striker was substituted on in the second half and scored his side’s only goal against Colchester United, before also netting on his second league outing too, in a 1-1 draw with Newport County.

Ruel Sotiriou signs with the Club

With five goals in ten League Two showings in the curtailed 2019/20 season, Sotiriou would continue to show his goalscoring prowess from the 2021/22 season onwards. Nine goals in League Two that campaign helped steer the Os away from the relegation battle, before another nine goals in the 2022/23 season were crucial to Leyton Orient’s push for promotion.

In his first season in League One Sotiriou enjoyed his most prolific campaign to date, with the striker scoring 12 goals in all competitions – including eleven in league football – and providing five assists.

His fine efforts in domestic football saw Sotiriou make his debut for the senior Cyprus national team in March 2024, featuring from the bench in a draw with Latvia.

Everyone at Bristol Rovers would like to welcome Ruel to the Club and wish him every success for his career with the Gas.