Ugandan teenage footballer makes debut in English championship

Ugandan teenage footballer Basil Tuma, takes on Stevenage defender in a match played Tuesday last week. Photo | Daily Mail

What you need to know:

  • The 17-year-old forward was selected by former England star Paul Ince to play for EFL Championship club Reading on Tuesday.

Basil Tuma, a teenage footballer who hails from Uganda last week made his debut with Reading FC in the EFL championship.

The 17-year-old forward was selected by former England star Paul Ince to play for EFL Championship club Reading on Tuesday.

With youth on his side, and exceptional pace, it is quite likely to be just the start of a long career in a game rarely associated with the studious atmosphere of Eton College.

“He’s frighteningly quick. Over the first 10 metres, his acceleration is phenomenal,” Coach Jono Santry told Daily Mail, after seeing Tuma play earlier this year for the England Independent Schools under-18s team that he trains.

Tuma is also the deputy head boy of Eton College that has produced at least 20 Prime Ministers of England.

“He likes the ball at his feet too, and when he scored a header we all thought, flipping heck, he can head the ball as well!” Santry added.

Tuma did not score on his debut for Reading in their EFL cup-tie at the Madejski Stadium. But he could certainly be pleased with his performance, said club manager Ince, who selected several youngsters for the game, which was 1-1 until visitors Stevenage scored a late winner.

“It was a good experience for the boys who played, I am proud of them. They’ve had a great experience of what proper football is like,” said Ince.

The youngster made an impression on Reading supporters, too. ‘Basil Tuma is rapid,’ tweeted one.

It was a common theme on social media.

The Etonian had clearly made an impression on the Reading boss over the summer because last weekend Ince named him as a substitute for the club’s game against Cardiff City in the EFL Championship.

Soon though, Tuma will return to classes at Eton to study for A-levels in Theology, Modern History and Spanish while hoping to continue his football dream.

Born in Uganda, he moved to the UK when he was 11 and attended the Dragon prep school in Oxford before entering Eton in 2018.

Tuma – who has played football for Uganda at under-17 level, also excels in athletics. He has run 100 metres in 11.23 seconds and took bronze in the English Schools Championships in 2019.

The turning point for his move into professional football came in January with his stunning appearance for England Independent Schools against Scotland.


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