Defoe - Fitness work paid off

Spurs hitman excited ahead of his first European Championship

Jermain Defoe: Tottenham striker has won 46 caps for England, netting 15 goals in the process

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Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe believes a tough pre-season training programme helped him earn a place in England's Euro 2012 squad.

Defoe was named as one of four strikers going to Poland and Ukraine this summer when new Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson announced his 23-man squad on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old has scored 17 goals for Spurs this season, despite failing to hold down a regular place in Harry Redknapp's starting XI.

Defoe flew to France last summer to put himself through three gruelling sessions a day with fitness guru Tiberius Darau, who was recommended to him by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

And he believes the move has paid dividends for his international career.

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"The World Cup was a fantastic experience and to have the opportunity represent England at another major tournament is amazing."

Jermain Defoe

Quotes of the week

"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, said Defoe.

"I think that work has paid off."

Defoe was overlooked by previous boss Fabio Capello for most of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and has not represented his country since the Wembley friendly against Ghana in March 2011.

But he could be thrust back into the limelight with Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two matches.

And Defoe, who played three times in England's ill-fated 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa, is relishing the thought of taking part in his second international tournament.

"I thought the World Cup was a fantastic experience and to have the opportunity represent England at another major tournament is amazing," he told Tottenham's official website.

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

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