Marseille sign New Zealander Bill Tuiloma
In what is being considered the biggest-ever move in New Zealand’s football history, 18-year-old Bill Tuiloma has signed a two-year deal with French giants Marseille.
The director of Birkenhead United – the club for which Tuiloma played his final game on Saturday – Paul Hobson confirmed that the U20 international was indeed making the move to France.
“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.
Hobson, who has trained Tuiloma since he was a young boy, also added:
“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 makes things look effortless, he’s got so much time, he’s a natural player.”
Regarding the big move, Hobson said, “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 and seeing him sign is just the nicest thing you could wish for anyone.”