The man with an eye for talent seeks to turn around the fortunes of the Punekars this season.

The Orange Army in the INDIAN Super League (ISL), FC Pune City will look to change their fortunes this season after having roped in an experienced coach Pradyum Reddy. The former Shillong Lajong boss is no stranger to Indian football, having won the 2nd Division I-League with Lajong and helping Bengaluru FC clinch their title in the debut season, Coach Prad, as he is popularly known, has his task cut out.

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Looking back at his days in Indian football, the former BFC Assistant said, “It’s been a fantastic journey since 2010 in Indian football. Having won the highly competitive second Division I-League comprising 28 teams, it’s disappointing to see what has become of the second tier of Indian football.”

Elaborating on the need to have a long term vision to reap benefits, Reddy shares his first-hand experience of being involved in a club that could see the future, “Lajong is one of the few clubs to have had five-year plans put in place back in 2011-12 and they have reaped the benefits for this. Sadly, too few clubs have followed this model and hence even the big spending clubs are still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure and youth development.”

When quizzed about his new role of in the ISL, the Scottish born coach commented, “It should be an interesting transition from the I-League to the ISL, especially as the latter is transitioning from a franchise based model to a club system.”

The Former DSK Shivajians coach also highlighted the FC Pune City’s philosophy. “One can never expect to get every desired player in a draft system, but we have stuck to our club philosophy of developing young Indian players and are happy to have secured many potential future Indian internationals.”

The philosophy of working with youngsters and grooming them into future internationals seems to have already been working for the Hrithik Roshan owned team. “We have had some initial success already with our U-19 boys winning the IFA Shield on debut. So, that bodes well for our future plans.”

Reddy will get down to the drawing board with Antonio Habas as they chalk out the team’s preseason plans ahead of the ISL 4. However, the former Lajong boss feels that the league has become much better compared to previous years.

“The younger, better-trained players have improved the quality of the league and increased the speed and quality of the football on view,” opined Reddy who will be transitioning from being an I-League coach to an ISL team coach.