Gillingham Town’s Best Player Is a Romanian Cab Driver

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Pay attention, Carlos Tevez. While you moan about being “treated like a dog” despite earning millions of pounds to play a game, others are doing everything they can to get just one more shot at something resembling high level soccer. Like Rus Alim-Yaler, a former Romanian first division player who is driving cabs in Yeovil and playing semi-pro with Gillingham Town.

After failing to catch on with League One club Yeovil Town, for whom he originally relocated to England from Romania, Rus found himself in need of income. Rather than scurry back to Eastern Europe, the veteran of over 250 Liga I matches took to driving a taxi for Radio Cabs. When the wife of Gillingham Town manager Adrian Foster, who happens to work at the cab company, found out about Rus Alim-Yaler’s background as a player, it wasn’t long before he was signed up for the Western League Division One side.

And now he’s probably their best player, in addition to being grateful just to get the chance to play again. No matter what level.

“The standard is not quite the same but I am happy to be playing again,” he said.

“Gillingham is a good team with good people. I enjoy it very much.

“I wanted my chance at Yeovil but there was talk of the manager changing, so maybe that is why.

“I have played against Mutu, Gica Popescu and Ionut Lupescu. All good players but Gillingham has good players too and the manager is a good guy.”

Not only does Rus sound like the nicest guy ever (favorably comparing Gillingham players to Romanian stars), he’s a perfect example of a player who plays just for the love of the sport. While the 36-year old is helping Gillingham Town to the top of the Western League Division One table, he’s also driving his cab and saving up to bring his wife and two young children to England later in the year.

Rus Alim-Yaler’s English isn’t the greatest, but that’s okay. According to Adrian Foster, the Romanian cabbie comes with his own translator and adds a bit of exotic foreign flare to the 10th tier of English football.

“Alim’s English isn’t great but he brings along his Romanian mate, Sebastian, who passes on my instructions.

“We don’t get many foreign players in this league so it’s good to get someone a bit different in.”

Source: This Is Somerset

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