Indian Super League franchise Kerala Blasters FC have appointed former Indian international midfielder N.P. Pradeep as the clubs new official ‘Player Scout’ and in this key 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.
Speaking on the appointment Kerala Blasters CEO Viren D’Silva 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.”
Hailing from Thodupuzha, Naduparambil Pappachen 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 a midfielder.
Pradeep has represented India at various age group levels, including the Under-20 team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 AFC Youth Championships. His senior India debut was at the 2005 SAFF 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 in New Delhi after over two decades of being hosts of the tournament.
In 2006, Pradeep joined National Football League champions Mahindra United from SBT. Subsequently he has also played for Viva Kerala FC, Mohun Bagan AC, Dodsal FC and Mumbai FC over a playing career where he was the versatile ‘team man’ always playing for the benefit of the team.
Pradeep had been part of Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural Indian Super League season in 2014 and now aged 33 ends his career to take up a new role with the Kerala Blaster in his home state.