Rusydi Rings Till
Azam Rusydi doubled the Busy Bees youth academy record for transfer fee received at a fell swoop, fetching over S$2.1 million from Belgian IV.30 side Nandrino Hellfire 2005 today. Situated in Liège, Nandrino had been on a recruiting spell under city icon Paulus Vander Vekens; Rusydi however remained their headline recruit amongst such talents as Norway's Geir Krogstad, Australia's Pietro Paolo Nigri and Iran's Ashkan Zeinolabedini.
And why wouldn't he be, given his unparalleled attainment for the Bees? Most observers rated only Li Xin Chi
close to Azam's level in the academy's history, and club scout Daud bin Radiman admitted that it was a toss-up as to who he would have taken, had he been allowed just one of them. "Li's an incredible midfielder with exceptional technique, as you all know, but Rusydi is, like, a tower. He's basically a modern winger in a classic centre forward's body, with an incomparable work ethic to boot."
This was probably what led Romanian sixth division leaders XPLICIT to raise the bidding to the two million dollar level, and also what had attracted a host of other teams, namely Embajador (Argentine Division Six), Poti F.C., I Veri Stalloni Italiani (both Italian Division Eight), FC Ruşinea (Romanian Division Six), Lokomotiv Houdingen (Swiss Division Seven), Czarni United, Derby Brzeziny (both Polish Division Six), AC-MishaA (Polish Division Seven), Clube Atlético Ferroviário (Brazilian Division Six), FC Total Fluke 2012 (Bulgarian Division Three), Odmisel Camboya (Cambodian Division Three) and local III.16 club RFC Brunei Tebuan. Former Azerbaijani national champions Fuzzy Bunch Qaradağ were one of the earliest reported to be interested, but were unwilling to follow through on price concerns.
The wonderboy himself professed to have no real preference over his destination, as long as it was a reputable league. "They play football under the same rules everywhere, no?"