Tounkara playing for Sunderland in 2011
|Full name||Oumare Tounkara|
|Date of birth||25 May 1990|
|Place of birth||Paris, France|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Current club||Grimsby Town
(on loan from Stevenage)
|2010–2011||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||44||(7)|
|2012||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||8||(1)|
|2012||Red Star Saint-Ouen||0||(0)|
|2014–||→ Grimsby Town (loan)||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:45, 29 January 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Tounkara began his career at French side Sedan, before attracting the interest of Premier League club Sunderland. He signed for Sunderland in the summer of 2009. Tounkara had two loan spells at League One side Oldham Athletic, playing regularly during the 2010–11 season and also making a handful of appearances during a much shorter stay towards the latter stages of the 2011–12 campaign. He was released by Sunderland in May 2012, without making any first-team appearances. He briefly returned to France to join Red Star of the Championnat National, but again did not make any appearances. In March 2013, Tounkara joined League Two side Bristol Rovers on a short-term deal, and was released upon the expiry of his contract in May that year. Shortly after, he signed for League One side Stevenage.
Tounkara signed a professional contract with French side Sedan of Ligue 2 ahead of the 2008–09 season, but did not make any first-team appearances during his twelve months with the club. In the summer of 2009, he was invited for a trial at Premier League side Sunderland, and subsequently joined the club on a permanent basis in July 2009 having impressed in several of the reserve team's pre-season friendly fixtures. He struggled with persistent injuries during his first season at Sunderland, making thirteen appearances for the club's second-string, but did not make any first-team appearances. Shortly after the 2009–10 campaign, Tounkara signed a two-year contract extension with the club, keeping him contracted to Sunderland until the summer of 2012.
Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Tounkara, along with team-mate Jean-Yves M'voto, joined League One side Oldham Athletic on a season-long loan deal, in order to gain first-team experience. He made his debut for Oldham just two days after joining the club, on 7 August, playing the first 84 minutes of the game as Oldham opened the season with a 2–1 victory at Tranmere Rovers. A week later, Tounkara scored his first goal for the club, doubling the club's advantage when he raced onto a Kieran Lee pass before finishing calmly in an eventual 3–0 win over Notts County at Boundary Park. He scored a late winner in Oldham's 2–1 home win over Bournemouth on 18 September, slotting in Paul Black's cross to complete an unlikely comeback with Oldham trailing with just fifteen minutes remaining. Tounkara went on to score three goals in five games throughout late October and November 2010, all of which coming at Oldham's home ground, subsequently taking his goal tally to five for the season. In January 2011, Tounkara scored twice within the space of a week; firstly "crashing in a thumping drive" following a goalmouth scramble in Oldham's 2–0 away win at Plymouth Argyle, before scoring just before half-time in a 2–1 win over Brentford. He was a regular throughout his year at Oldham, scoring seven times in 46 appearances.
He returned to Sunderland at the end of the season, and trained with the first-team during pre-season ahead of the 2011–12 campaign, scoring in a 2–1 friendly victory over York City on 13 July 2011. He was handed a squad number for the season after impressing manager Steve Bruce in pre-season. Despite early signs indicating Tounkara could feature for the first-team during the season, he returned to playing for Sunderland's reserve side during the first half of the season. Tounkara stated — "I really enjoyed playing with the first team and learned a lot of things from playing with the fantastic players Sunderland have. It has been difficult to get a chance when you have players like them around you. It was a good experience but disappointing I didn't get a chance after that". In March 2012, on emergency loan deadline day, Tounkara was again loaned to Oldham Athletic, this time on an agreement for the remainder of the 2011–12 season. On signing Tounkara for a second time, Oldham manager Paul Dickov said — "As we know from when he was here before he is a threat physically and also has pace". He made eight appearances, of which three were starting, scoring one goal on the last day of the season in a 2–1 victory over Carlisle United. On his return to Sunderland, he was one of nine players released by the club in May 2012, and did not make any first-team appearances during his three-year stay with the North East club.
Following his release from Sunderland, Tounkara briefly returned to France to play for Red Star of the Championnat National, but made no first-team appearances during his time there. In February 2013, Tounkara joined League Two club Bristol Rovers on a week-long trial. The trial proved to be successful, and he signed for the club on a short-term contract until the end of the 2012–13 season. He made his debut for Bristol Rovers in the club's 3–0 win over Burton Albion on 2 March 2013, coming on as a substitute for Ryan Brunt on the hour mark. He scored twice for the club on Easter Monday, in a 4–2 away victory against Dagenham & Redbridge, in what was also his first starting appearance for the club. After the match, manager John Ward praised Tounkara's performance — "He has also got a good awareness and showed he can finish as well so he is definitely an interesting player. He’s only had bits and pieces of games since he has been here, but he has worked really hard in training. The lad came over from France without a Euro in his pocket a couple of months ago determined to carve out a career for himself. If he keeps that sort of form up it won’t only be me looking to try and keep him". However, Tounkara was released by the club at the end of the season, with Ward stating the return to fitness of his other strikers meant the player would get limited game-time. He made nine appearances and scored twice during his brief time with Bristol Rovers.
Tounkara signed for League One side Stevenage on a free transfer in May 2013. He made his debut for the club on the opening day of the 2013–14 campaign, playing the whole match as Stevenage lost 4–3 to one of Tounkara's former employers, Oldham Athletic.
On 27 January 2014 Tounkara joined Grimsby Town on loan. After appearing as a substitute, he scored in his full home debut, racing forward from a long ball by Clayton McDonald to side-foot home against Tamworth in the FA Trophy quarter finals, and assisted a goal in a 4-1 win.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||FL Trophy||FA Trophy||Total|
|Oldham Athletic (loan)||2010–11||44||7||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||46||7|
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- "Grimsby 4–1 Tamworth". Grimsby Telegraph. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Athletic pair miss out on Toulon tournament". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2013.