Dec 6 2012 By Jon Batham
Aaron Tumwa Image 3
WATFORD loanee Aaron Tumwa is out to follow in the footsteps of the last Hornet to turn out at centre-back for Wealdstone.
Tommy Hoban, now Gianfranco Zola’s regular No 5 at Vicarage Road cut his teeth in senior football in an eye-catching loan spell at The Vale last season.
Tunwa too made an impressive league debut for Stones in their 2-1 win over Hendon on Saturday, before revealing he has been doing some off-field swatting on his fellow academy graduate in a bid to steal his shirt at the Championship side.
He said: “Seeing what Tommy has achieved gives me a role model of hope for my career. It gives me the inspiration to try and go beyond that and get better than Tommy.
“I’ve been watching him to see what he does that I don’t do and vice versa in order to push my game on.
“I’ll be watching the Football League Show with interest to see what he did well today and what he didn’t.”
The 18-year-old’s first taste of Ryman Premier League football at arch rivals Harrow Borough became something of a false start after being cut short by injury.
Consequently, Tumwa is now playing catch-up and is grateful to Hoban for passing on some valuable tips about life at step three of football’s pyramid.
“Tommy has told me to always be aware and not to assume things at this level. You can anticipate a certain type of play which you are used to at academy level with a club like Watford, but here they might not be doing that.
“For example there are more long balls, so instead of assuming someone is going to go short, more often than not they are knocking it in behind you, so you have to be ready for anything.
“That is a real help to me here because it is exposing my weaknesses and showing me where I need to go to progress on.”
For many youngsters the real culture shock is about the physical aspect of men’s football, but at six foot and still growing it is an aspect of the challenge Tumwa seems to relish.
He added: “I find the physical aspect of the game okay. It’s just in terms of winning the headers the opposition players are more inclined to back into you and make physical contact so you have to get used to that, get your arms up and be more aware of what is around you.”
Photo supplied by Alan Cozzi / Watford FC.