Kerala Blasters' Prabhsukhan Gill - A tale of patience and vibes

Prabhsukhan, 21, kept seven clean sheets – the most by any Kerala Blasters ‘keeper in a single season, and was rewarded with the Golden Glove award.  

Shyam Vasudevan
Kerala Blasters goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill in pre-match training during the season.

Prabhsukhan Gill was an unused substitute as India made its FIFA U-17 World Cup debut at home in 2017.  

After a stint with Indian Arrows in the I-League, the towering goalkeeper moved to Bengaluru FC in 2019. But there, too, he managed just two appearances, one in the AFC Cup and the second in the Indian Super League (ISL). Searching for more game time, he switched to Kerala Blasters, but his first season was a forgettable one – his stats card read zero appearances. But his patience bore fruit this season as he stepped in for Albino Gomes and carried the club to its first final in six years. 

Prabhsukhan, 21, kept seven clean sheets – the most by any Kerala Blasters ‘keeper in a single season, and was rewarded with the Golden Glove award. 

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His brother Gursimrat Singh Gill, who represents ATK Mohun Bagan, says: “It’s all about the vibe for him – he lives on vibes. He’d call me every alternate day last season and tell me he was not getting the vibes.  Uski vibe galat nahi hoti  (his vibes are never wrong). He knew he won’t play last season, but he had no doubt this year. He told me he might not start the season but that he will finish it. He had that vibe.”  

“He gets desperate sometimes, but his patience outdoes that. He puts in so much work that he expects things to happen also just as soon. He had played just two games in two seasons, but he never doubted himself. Doubt is what kills you,” adds Gursimrat. 

“He will outwork you in everything. He’s the most hardworking guy I’ve seen. I’ve seen him work like that even when we’re at home. I’ll take an off sometimes when I’m back home in the off-season, but it’s not like that for him. He always wants to play.” 

Gursimrat recalls how Prabhsukhan, who started out as a centre-back, was convinced to don the gloves. The two were training at the Chandigarh Football Academy and there were no goalkeepers in Prabhsukhan’s U-10 batch. “Our coach Harjinder called me and said Prabhsukhan has good height, and the goalkeeping role could be good for him.”  

Prabhsukhan was not convinced at first but reluctantly agreed. He was voted the best ‘keeper in his maiden tournament and was awarded a pair of  Nike  boots, which spurred him on. “Half the game he used to murmur  rabba ball na ave rabba ball na ave  (oh god, please don’t let the ball come to me). Whenever the ball did come to him, he would grab the easy balls or simply volleyball and punch them away,” says Gursimrat.

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He then graduated through the Indian age-group teams and sealed his spot in the Indian squad for the U-17 World Cup and then to Bengaluru FC. “I wanted him at Bengaluru FC because Gurpreet was there. Gurpreet was a good influence on Prabhsukhan. He took very good care of him and would share a room with him on away games and mentor him,” says Gursimrat, who was also with Bengaluru that season. 

Three years since his stint at Bengaluru, Prabhsukhan shared the dressing room with Gurpreet once again as he got a call up to the Indian national team for the friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus. India coach Igor Stimac called up Prabhsukhan based on his stunning ISL campaign. 

Kerala Blasters’ Serbian goalkeeping coach Slaven Progovecki has earmarked Prabhsukhan as one for the future. “I am most impressed by Gill; he has a strong head and a great desire for success. When Albino got injured, Gill was ready. I told him to trust himself. A lot is expected of Gill in the coming seasons and there is still a lot of room for improvement,” he says.  

Prabhsukhan would take Progovecki along with him to receive the Golden Glove award after the ISL final on March 20. 

Prabhsukhan has created more than just an impact this season and will look for more success when he returns for Kerala Blasters' next campaign.