Kerala Blasters FC's young prospect Nihal Sudeesh has signed a new contract with the club, which will keep him with the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side until the end of the 2025-26 season, the club announced on Friday.

The Kochi native, after being an integral part of the Kerala Blasters youth sides, made his senior team appearance in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season.

Nihal’s love and connection with Kerala Blasters FC go beyond his time joining the youth development program with KBFC. In the 2015-16 Hero ISL season, Nihal was a ball boy at the sidelines of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi from where he witnessed all the action from close quarters, igniting a passion for football within him that has driven his growth ever since.

After a period of time within KBFC’s youth system, Nihal represented the KBFC Reserves team in the 2019-20 I-League 2nd division, prior to pursuing a job with the Indian Navy.

However, Nihal would soon quit his job at the Navy to follow his passion for football with a complete focus on KBFC. In 2022 he would represent the club’s reserve team at the Reliance Foundation Development League and Next Gen Cup in the UK. His impressive performances earned him a senior team call-up during pre-season and he eventually cemented a place in the squad.

In his first year with the senior team, Nihal made an encouraging six appearances in the Hero ISL and Super Cup showcasing a great turn of pace, mentality, and willingness to learn and improve.

Commenting on the extension, Karolis Skinkys, Kerala Blasters Sporting Director, said: “Nihal Sudeesh’s energy, creativity, and speed make him an ideal winger, ticking all the right boxes in terms of skill and temperament.”

“He has been someone who has grown through our system, so it was very heartening to see him make constant progress as a player during last year’s ISL. I am very pleased that Nihal agreed to sign a contract extension, committing his future with the club till 2026. I wish Nihal all the very best and hope he would cement himself within the core of the KBFC squad, during the upcoming time period,” he added.