Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC forward Jeje Lalpekhlua has been conferred the AIFF's Player of the year Award of 2016 for his stunning displays for club and country. Jeje scored a combined tally of 17 goals in 20 appearances for India, Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC in the current season.
Jeje Lalpekhlua is enjoying the best year of his career so far. The 25-year old striker first tasted success in 2016 first by winning the won the SAFF Cup with India at the start of the year, scoring in the final. At the club level, he lifted the 2016 Federation Cup with Mohun Bagan scoring 8 goals in just five appearances for the Mariners.
Commenting on the honour, Lalpekhlua said, "This is an award which every Indian footballer looks forward to.”
"It feels great and I am thankful to all my coaches who put their faith on me. Awards motivate you and it feels great when your hard work gets recognised. I am extremely thrilled about joining the elite list. If you look at the ones who have received the AIFF Player of the Year Award in all the previous years, I found out they all are my idols.
"I have been very fortunate to have an amazing bunch of players around me, right from Mohun Bagan to Chennaiyin FC to the national team. It's like a cohesive unit who gel well quintessentially. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all my team-mates. Unless they had been so supportive towards me, this award could not have seen the daylight," the Chennaiyin FC striker added.
Lalpekhlua takes over from fellow North-Eastern player Eugeneson Lyngdoh as the AIFF Player of the Year.
This win puts the Indian striker in the prestigious list containing the names of Sunil Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Gouramangi Singh, and Baichung Bhutia who won the award previously.