New Delhi, Feb 13: Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh was named the Player of the Year 2019 by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday.
It is a big day for Indian hockey as the Indian skipper became the first Indian to win the accolade since the awards were introduced in 1999.
In the FIH Player of the Year 2019 (Men) category, Manpreet was up against World Champions Victor Wegnez and Arthur van Doren from Belgium, FIH Pro League 2019 winners Aran Zalewski and Eddie Ockenden from Australia as well as Lucas Vila from Argentina.
2019 FIH Player of the Year (Men) - Goes to... pic.twitter.com/4kWFttbIVl— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) February 13, 2020
In June last year, Manpreet Singh who completed 250 International matches for India during the FIH Men's Hockey Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019, successfully led the team to victory beating South Africa in the Final of the event. He was also instrumental in the Indian Team's performance at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in November last year where they edged out Russia to earn their ticket to 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I am truly honoured to win this award and I would like to dedicate this to my team. I also thank my well wishers and hockey fans from around the world for voting in my favour. It is truly humbling to see so much support for Indian Hockey. I wish we continue to receive more such support as we gun for glory this Olympic year," said an elated Manpreet Singh.
Congratulating Manpreet, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India said, "I congratulate Manpreet for winning the prestigious FIH Player of the Year award. He has matured over the years as a player and has proved his importance in the team. He has led India to important victories and I hope he continues to contribute to India's success in the coming years as well."
Source: (With inputs from Hockey Press Release)