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Player Database: Jean-Paul Kalala

By: Mike Gray
Date: 09/07/2007

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Jean-Paul Kalala2005/0618 (7)6 goals

Jean-Paul Kalala

Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, try saying that when you've had too many pints in the Imperial, or try saying it when you haven't and you will still struggle.

JP was signed in June 2005, following a trial session in which Slade brought in 4 or 5 French based players. He originally stayed for one week and then left returning to France, but made a u-turn and signed a one year deal at Blundell Park.

Kalala, a native of the Democratic Republic Of Congo, had made first team appearances in the French Premier Division playing for Nice, and was regarded as a rising star in France! So why join Grimsby Town?!?

He was an instant hit at Blundell Park, and there was no stopping him. He will always be remembered for the 86th minute wonder volley against Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup which gave Town a 1-0 win over the Premiership giants.

Then came the African Nations Cup, which saw Kalala leave Grimsby for a month to represent DR Congo, and that made a clear route for Ciaran Toner to nick off with his place in the team, and it would be a place that Kalala would struggle to win back.

JP always expressed his ambition to one day play Premiership football, and admitted Grimsby was a stepping stone to get to play in that division, and after one season he followed Russell Slade into League One and Yeovil Town.

Despite Yeovil being a smaller club, they effectively are no superior in position to the Mariners.

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