Oumare Tounkara Player Profile
Debut: Oldham Athletic (H, 3-4), 03/08/2013
Powerful young striker Oumare Tounkara was among the first new signings made by Graham Westley in summer 2013, with the Boro’ manager looking to rebuild the squad after a disappointing 2012/3 campaign. The forward had been with Bristol Rovers on a short-term deal prior to his release, allowing him to join Stevenage on a free transfer.
Paris-born Tounkara’s footballing odyssey began in 2008 with a professional contract at French side Sedan. First team appearances, however, did not come his way with the Ligue 2 outfit. A year later, he was invited to trial at Sunderland and was rewarded with the chance to shine in the Premier League.
Injuries prevented the striker from making his mark, but he clearly did enough in the reserve team to secure a contract extension with the Black Cats. 2010 saw him move 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, and he moved 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.