Cape Town - Bournemouth
striker Jermain Defoe will take on the role of mentor for England's
younger players in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
England are set to face Malta on Friday and Slovakia on Monday as
they look to solidify their lead in Group F and, with Wayne Rooney no
longer in the fold, 34-year-old Defoe is now the senior striker in the
"I think it comes naturally, to be honest," Defoe said after Three
Lions boss Gareth Southgate named him as a leader for the younger
"At my club I try to speak to a lot of the younger players and give
them advice. It is something I feel I am good at and if I can bring that
to this camp, I certainly will.''
With 20 goals and 57 caps to his name, Defoe says he still has that
scoring touch after netting 15 goals for relegated Sunderland last
"I want to show people I can still do it,” he said. “I want to stay
in and around the England squad and hopefully go to another World Cup.
It would be a dream to play at another World Cup for sure.
"It is nice sometimes when you feel you have something to prove. And
in terms of preparation and recovery and stuff, I tick every box, so in
my mind I don't feel like I'm really slowing down.
"I do everything - yoga, pilates, a lot of power work in the gym,
eat the right things. Just try to tick every box to make sure I am still
performing. I still feel sharp and fresh. I just listen to my body and
try and play as long as I can.''