"I would like to thank my family and friends for always supporting me. They have been motivating me throughout my career,” Manpreet Singh said.
“And of course, I cannot forget my father, if he was still here, he would've been really proud of me. This award is for all the support and strength that he always gave me,” added the 27-year-old.
Manpreet Singh had edged out the likes of World Champions Victor Wegnez and Arthur van Doren from Belgium, 2019 FIH Pro League winners Aran Zalewski and Eddie Ockenden from Australia as well as Argentine Lucas Vila to win the award.
"It's a really proud moment for me to have won the FIH Player of the Year 2019 award. It gives me huge confidence for all the upcoming FIH Pro League matches, as well as for the 2020 Olympics,” Manpreet Singh pointed out.
“It also feels amazing to have become the first Indian ever to win this prize, but with this recognition, there also comes a big responsibility to keep helping my team to do well," said the Indian hockey team’s skipper.
Manpreet Singh wasn’t the only Indian hockey player to receive an FIH honour. Both Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami won their respective FIH Rising Star of the Year awards as well earlier in the month.
"It is also a very positive thing for both our teams with Vivek and Lalremsiami also having won their respective FIH Rising Star of the Year Awards. It reflects well on how our teams are improving and gives us the confidence in doing well in future events and tournaments," he said.