Cem Tumkaya
Player Legends 4 of 24

4. Cem Tumkaya


Stats: as at 5 Dec 2020
Cray Valley (PM) (2015 - 2020 )
Appearances 147
Goals 8
Penpix: Aug 2020
The youngest, and tallest, member of the defence, 22 year old Cem is equally at home playing anywhere across the back line, whilst contributing the occasional goal. Now in his 3rd season in the Senior squad, former London Under 18’s man Cem featured as an integral part of the Club’s FA Vase run and Final appearance at Wembley in 2019, as well as guiding the Millers to the SCEFL championship and with it, promotion to the Isthmian League.

Cem in the FA Cup October 2020 at Maidenhead United.

Cem on his first full start 25th April 2015 v Erith & Belvedere looks on as Tommy Osborne challenges for the ball. Cem had made his debut in a brief appearance as a substitute v Woodstock three games earlier.

Interview Nov 2020
As we take an enforced mid-season break due to the Covid-19 national lockdown we look at those at the Club who have made more than 100 first team appearances for the Millers. Richard J Green spoke to Cem.

22 year old “Cem” is our longest serving player, joining the Millers as a 16 year old centre half in 2015. Having quickly made an impression as an “under age player” in Mark Dobson’s Under 21 side, Cem appeared in the Suburban Under 21 Plate Final in 2016 at the age of 17!
His outstanding performances soon prompted first team Manager Paul Gross to hand him a senior call-up.

“I made my first team debut when I was 16 against Erith and Belvedere in the SCEFL”, recalls Cem. “Funnily enough, I was playing next to (current Assistant Manager) Tommy Osborne”.
Cem progressed to represent London at Under 18 level, whilst playing under James Collins as a member of the first team squad that won the London Senior Cup in 2016/17.
When Kevin Watson took over the reins at the Club the following season, he set about changing the defensive strategy, lining up with three centre backs.
“It took a while to adjust to playing in a three at the back when Kev first took over, but we got there”, recalls Cem, who has since become adept at switching to play wide on the right when moving to a back four.

With a Wembley appearance and SCEFL Championship already under his belt, Cem achieved another career milestone earlier this season – the Millers progressing into the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
“The Cup run was a great experience” said Cem. “I’ve noticed the main difference in stepping up to play teams from a higher level is the pace – the wingers are definitely a lot quicker.
But I find that playing against better players helps me to raise my own level of performance”.

And Cem’s normal Saturday routine when the Millers don’t have a match ?
“If we don’t have a game, I’ll often do a bit of training in the morning before going over to Bromley to watch a game with my Dad - either Bromley or Cray Wanderers.
When watching games on TV, Virgil Van Dyke catches my eye. I’m always looking at how he reads the game and deals with certain situations. I certainly learn a lot from watching him and others like him.”

With 146 senior appearances already to his name, Cem will be looking to add a second promotion to an already impressive CV sometime in the spring.

Updated stats 15th May 2024
Total Apps 256 Goals 17
Season 2023/24 Appearances 20 Goals 3
Season 2022/23 Appearances 43 Goals 3
Season 2021/22 Appearances 44 Goals 3
Season 2020/21 Appearances 15 Goals 0 (covid)
Season 2019/20 Appearances 35 Goals 3 (covid)
Season 2018/19 Appearances 57 Goals 3
Season 2017/18 Appearances 40 Goals 2
Season 2016/17 Appearances 1 Goals 0
Season 2015/16 Appearances 1 Goals 0

Cem joined Dulwich Hamlet in June 2023 for a brief spell before returning to the Millers in September.