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KALLA: "I ALWAYS DID MY OWN THING AND BY ALL ACCOUNTS I DID IT VERY WELL"

Yesterday we summarised Jan-Philipp Kalla's answers from an interactive session with the Hamburg media on different topical issues. In part 2, Schnecke reflects on his career, speaking about…

…the highlights of his 17 years at the club: "It's hard to single out particular situations. People often mention my games at FC Kaiserslautern. I associate lots of moments with the Betzenberg. I made my first and my 100th second-division appearance there and scored half of my league goals there, including the key opening goal in a relegation scrap in 2015. The Betzenberg was always a good place to go for me, strangely enough. Apart from that, every game for St. Pauli is special. We always have a full away end, the fans travel by car, train, and bus every weekend in all weathers to support us. The Millerntor is always full as well. How many second-division teams can say every home game is sold out? There's loads more stories. I think I'd have to write a book because it's impossible to give a brief summary of everything that's happened."

…his first second-division appearance: "I was taken off early playing for the Under-23s at Meppen and was really annoyed about it. Then I was told to calm down because I was going to Kaiserslautern with the first team. I made my professional debut there in front of 50,000 people. Kaiserslautern were still fighting relegation. Fifty thousand at the Betzenberg. There are worse second-division debuts. We lost (eds: 2-0) but I still remember it very clearly."

Jan-Philipp Kalla on his senior debut for the club at Kaiserslautern.

Jan-Philipp Kalla on his senior debut for the club at Kaiserslautern.

…the possibility of leaving St. Pauli: "There was never any desire on my part to leave the club. The only time it might have happened was in 2010. When we got promoted to the first division, our then coach Holger Stanislawski told me it might be an option to send me away on loan because the chances of me getting a lot of playing time in the Bundesliga were not very good. So I had a look around and went for a trial at FSV Frankfurt. In the end I decided against it because I wanted to win through and keep my options of playing in the Bundesliga open. That decision is probably an allegory for my career. I eventually made five Bundesliga appearances. It might be a lot, but who can say they played in the Bundesliga? If I hadn't decided the way I did, I'd have regretted it. Looking back, it's also nice to have played for the same club for 17 years."

…his hopes and dreams as a youth: "I never really had the hope of turning professional. I may have been more talented and better than many others of my age, but when I was 14 I was rejected by HSV and also lost my place in the Hamburg Select XI because of my size. So I never had big dreams. After leaving the youth setup I was a talented Oberliga player for the St. Pauli Under-23s and happy. I didn't have to go any higher, I always did my own thing and by all accounts I did it very well. Things developed accordingly."

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli

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