Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe attributes England call-up to extra training


Jermain Defoe thinks a gruelling pre-season training camp in France helped him break in to England's Euro 2012 squad.

Defoe sneaked ahead of Daniel Sturridge and Peter Crouch to be named in Roy Hodgson's squad for the European Championship finals yesterday.

Despite not being first choice for his club this season, Defoe has still managed to score 17 times - something he puts down to a punishing fitness programme he underwent last summer.

While most of his team-mates were on holiday, Defoe flew to France to put himself through three gruelling sessions a day with fitness Tiberius Darau, who was recommended to him by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

Defoe told Tottenham's website: "I'm delighted because I knew last summer I had a massive season coming up and I worked hard on my fitness to be as sharp as possible.

"I think that work has paid off."

Former Three Lions boss Fabio Capello overlooked Defoe for most of the qualifying campaign but the diminutive hitman could play a major part for England in Ukraine and Poland with Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games of the tournament.

Defoe played at the 2010 World Cup, but narrowly missed out on selection for Germany 2006 and was also omitted from England's Euro 2004 squad by then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"I thought the 2010 World Cup was a fantastic experience and to have the opportunity to represent England at another major tournament is amazing," Defoe added.

"I always remember watching the tournaments on TV, watching Euro 96 and to be part of it now is something special."