Maya Yoshida paid tribute to his teammates and the Southampton support staff, as he scooped the President’s Choice Award at last night’s player awards.
The 28-year-old, who has recently become a father for the first time, also revealed how that extra responsibility has helped him on the pitch.
“I am very happy to get this prize and really appreciate everyone I work with a this club,” started Yoshida.
“I am really enjoying my life as both a player and a dad at the moment here at Southampton.
“Having my daughter is the best thing that has happened to me in my life. She has brought many good things into my life since she was born.”
Yoshida also took time to reflect upon his recent personal milestone of reaching his 100th Premier League appearance against Hull City.
And as the first Japanese player to reach that number, he celebrated by inviting 100 people to watch the match at St Mary’s.
“It’s just 100 games and nothing special for English people, but it is a huge step for my country,” he continued.
“I invited 100 Japanese fans to come and watch the last game to mark my 100th appearance, including 50 young children.
“I hope they were inspired by the atmosphere and what they saw, and in the future they can go on to beat my record.”