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Bill Poni TUILOMA - New Zealands next star?

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Bill Poni Tuiloma

Nationality:New Zealand

Date of birth:27 March 1995

Country of birth:New Zealand

Position: Defender

Current Club: Marseille

The youngsters transfer has been labelled already as 'the biggest move in New Zealands football history', he impressed on his International debut and was given a place in the squad for the massive World Cup Qualifer against Mexico......

article from oceaniafootball.com

The 18-year-old was unearthed by the club’s (Marseille) scouts during the FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Turkey during June and July and the wheels were put in motion. While the New Zealand squad didn’t win any of its group games the Asia Pacific Football Academy graduate clearly did enough to attract the attention of those who count.

Once he has cleared his medical Tuiloma can put pen to paper, but that doesn’t mean he will be making an immediate debut in the country’s top division. Instead he is signing up as a trainee starting his career in the OM technical centre with the reserve team.

He will play in CFA 2 the second best amateur league, or fifth division, in France which is one step away from professional footballer.

Ahead of leaving for France the youngster scored twice to try and keep his side Birkenhead United alive in their Chatham Cup quarter final against Hamilton side Melville United but unfortunately they went down 3-2.

In what is being considered the biggest-ever move in New Zealand’s football history, Birkenhead United director of football Paul Hobson says it is typical of Tuiloma’s upbringing that he would try and fit one final club game in before his departure.

“I do think it is the biggest-ever signing out of New Zealand: Marseilles are massive – it’s like someone going to England and signing for Arsenal,” Hobson said. “It’s a big jump, but I guess they wouldn’t sign him if they didn’t think he could play.”

Tuiloma, who usually plays in central defence, has represented New Zealand at the U17 and U20 level, and has also had a trial with LA Galaxy.

“When a player signs for a club there’s often a hint of jealousy, but not with Bill, he’s such a lovely kid. His parents have kept him well-grounded,” Hobson says.

Hobson first coached Tuiloma as an eight-year-old and says his potential, even back then, was huge.

“He had loads of ability from the word go. He’s the only player I’ve ever known that you could put in any single position, apart from goalkeeper, and he would be pretty much the best player on the pitch,” he says. “He makes things look effortless, he’s got so much time, he’s a natural player.”

Having trained with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy as well as attracting some interest from English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool adapting to the French game should be of little difficulty for the young Kiwi talent.

stuff.co.nz

Tuiloma impresses on debut; earns playoff spot

Teenager defender Bill Tuiloma's performance on debut has earned him a place in the All Whites' squad for the World Cup playoffs.

The 18-year-old Olympic Marseille youth team player won his first international cap as a second-half replacement in the scoreless draw with Trinidad and Tobago.

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert said Tuiloma, who took over at right wing back for Leo Bertos and later switched to the left-side of a three-man defence when Tommy Smith was replaced, "did a great job'' in both roles.

Herbert said Tuiloma had impressed throughout the week-long training camp and had a strong physical presence and "a great worth ethic''.

"He will definitely be part of the squad going into Mexico [for the World Cup playoff first leg on November 15].''

Herbert said the youngster offered great versatility. He could play as a fullback on both flanks, at centreback and in the wing back roles and was playing as a defensive midfielder for his French club.

Tuiloma said he hoped he had done enough to keep his place.

The versatile Aucklander said he it "felt great'' to make his All Whites debut after playing at age-group World Cup finals for the New Zealand under-17 and under-20 squads.

"I was prepared; as soon as the whistle went for half-time I knew I was going on. I was nervous, but it was a good feeling to get out there for my debut.''

Tuiloma said playing in a training game against Major League Soccer club Chivas USA in Los Angeles on Sunday had helped prepare him for the Trinidad and Tobago match.

He said he had enjoyed the All Whites environment, "learning off a good bunch of players'' and it had helped having his New Zealand under-20 teammate Cam Howieson in the squad.

Tuiloma has also added something new to the All Whites' armoury - a long throw.

Herbert said the youngster "launched a few'' into the Trinidad penalty area yesterday, but goalkeeper Glen Moss, who was impressed with Tuiloma's physical ability, technique and decision making, said the All Whites were "trying to keep his long throws a bit of a secret. We haven't [had] that in a while.''

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Re: Bill Poni TUILOMA - New Zealands next star?

Nice write up, he never managed to get on for the first leg against Mexico today, they were 2-0 down at HT then conceded again just after HT so it probably wasn't the best time to bring the kid on after that, they might give him a runout in the second leg at home though.

The Kiwi Messi did come on from the bench though so it looks like Rojas must be fit, hope he gets a few games in Germany now.

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Re: Bill Poni TUILOMA - New Zealands next star?

Nice write up' date=' he never managed to get on for the first leg against Mexico today, they were 2-0 down at HT then conceded again just after HT so it probably wasn't the best time to bring the kid on after that, they might give him a runout in the second leg at home though.

The Kiwi Messi did come on from the bench though so it looks like Rojas must be fit, hope he gets a few games in Germany now.[/quote']

I think he was there just to make up the numbers...One of the starters (Christie) plays amateur football in Florida currently! so guess depth is an issue.

But obviously looking to the future, blooding young talent early & exposing them to massive games.

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