Powerful striker Oumare Tounkara was among the first signings made by Graham Westley in summer 2013; the Boro’ boss looking to rebuild the squad. That became necessary for us after the 2012-3 campaign had been a major disappointment. He’d been with Bristol Rovers on a short-term deal before his release, allowing him to join us on a free transfer.
Oumare Tounkara: Before Boro’
Paris-born Tounkara’s footballing odyssey began in 2008 with a pro contract at French side Sedan. First team appearances, however, did not come his way at the Ligue 2 side. A year later, Sunderland invited him on trial and gave him the chance to shine in the Premier League. Injuries prevented the striker from making his mark, though, but he clearly did enough in the reserve team to secure a contract extension with the Black Cats.
In 2010, he moved on loan to Oldham Athletic; a club he would return to yet again on loan in 2012. It was in that year that his stay at Sunderland ended; moving to French side Red Star Saint-Ouen. A return to English football wasn’t long in forthcoming, with Bristol Rovers offering him the chance to take on League Two defences. In a handful of games for the club, he returned two goals.
After his release, Graham Westley gave the striker a terrific chance to make a name for himself in a Boro’ team that had struggled for goals in 2013.