Kochi, June 28 Kerala Blasters today announced NP Pradeep, a former India international, as the official player scout for the KBFC in the state.
In this role, Pradeep will work closely with head coach Steve Coppell and assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed to discover promising young players and future stars from among the local talent in Kerala. Hailing from Thodupuzha, Pradeep began playing for the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) at the young age of 17 years.
He helped SBT win four Kerala League titles. Having played in all positions, except as a goalkeeper, his career was marked by his defensive roles as he transformed from a striker to an attacking mid-fielder.
He has represented India at various age group levels, including the under-20 team that reached the quarterfinals of the AFC Youth Championships in 2002. His debut with the India national football team was at the 2005 SAAF Championship which India won.
With 50 international caps, it was his powerful shot from just outside the box that led India to its first Nehru Cup victory in 2007 after two decades of hosting the tournament. In 2006, Pradeep joined National League champions Mahindra United.
Subsequently he has also played for Viva Kerala FC, Mohun Bagan AC, Dodsal Football Club and Mumbai over a playing career where he was the versatile 'team man'always playing for the benefit of the team.
Speaking on the appointment, Viren D'Silva, CEO, KBFC said, "It is our endeavour to promote and nurture home grown talent, and to lay this foundation, N P Pradeep will work with Steve and Ishfaq in finding and evaluating young talented players. These are the first steps in putting together a framework to build a world-class football team at Kerala Blasters."