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England striker Jermain Defoe says the squad's visit to a Royal Marines boot camp could help the players cope with the emotion of penalty shootouts.

Defoe said having his team-mates watching him complete the 'sheep dip' was a "pressure moment".

"It's the sort of pressure when you're in a penalty shootout and the lads are waiting for you to step up," he said.

It is a family affair at the Jermain Defoe Foundation football tournament in Romford. As they spend bank holiday Monday seeking to raise funds for their work in St Lucia, the entire clan is busy helping. There’s Jermain himself presenting the prizes to winning teams, posing for selfies, signing junior football shirts. There’s his cousin volunteering as tournament co-ordinator. And there, next to the merchandise stand where signed adidas balls are selling fast, is the cake stall, staffed by his mother.

Jermain Defoe says he is focused on international duties ahead of an expected move to Bournemouth. The Sunderland forward is set to join the Cherries on a free transfer this summer, according to Sky sources, but his immediate attentions are on England's upcoming matches against Scotland and France.

England travel to Hampden Park for their World Cup Qualifier on June 10, live on Sky Sports 1, and the England international is relishing the opportunity to make an impact following his recent reintroduction to the squad by manager Gareth Southgate.

(CNN) - It's not unusual for friendships to be formed through football, but the bond forged between a five-year-old boy suffering from a rare form of cancer and a leading soccer star has provided one of the more unusual -- and heartwarming -- talking points of this season.

In September, Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013, was the club's mascot for the game against Everton at the Stadium of Light in the north east of England. Fans of both clubs chanted Lowery's name in the fifth minute -- a number to match his age -- before a "We're with you, Bradley'" banner was unfurled. But for Lowery, getting the opportunity to meet his hero Jermain Defoe was arguably the most thrilling aspect of the day. And the player felt a similar sentiment.

BBC Sport pundit Dion Dublin has picked Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe as his Premier League player of the year because he is ‘single-handedly keeping Sunderland afloat’.

Despite the Black Cats sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table Defoe has fired in 14 Premier League goals this season.

Even though he is 34-years-old Defoe’s form saw him earn an England recall, scoring the opening goal in last Sunday’s 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Jermain Defoe's return to the England squad is a "great story" according to manager Gareth Southgate after the striker scored in Sunday's 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Lithuania. The Sunderland forward, 34, made his first England appearance since November 2013 and marked the occasion with the opening goal in the 21st minute.

"I'm pleased for Defoe he got the goal," said Southgate. "The bigger picture for us was his contribution throughout the camp."

England created few clear-cut chances after Defoe's opener, but managed to breach the last line of defence once more in the 66th minute when substitute Jamie Vardy scored with his first touch.

There was something very familiar about all this. The sight of a winger bustling to the byline and, even as he pulled the ball back across goal, being absolutely convinced the net would be billowing by the time his momentum had carried him on to the artificial turf ringing the pitch. 

Jermain Defoe tends to offer that calibre of reassurance, forever loitering as he does in enemy territory spanning the width of the posts, the six-yard box only ever a dart away, defenders constantly on edge. Cue that trademark celebration, arms stretched wide, as the striker trotted towards the crowd. It was as if he had never been away.

It is perhaps a measure of how far Wayne Rooney has fallen that a striker three years his senior started this encounter for England. Just as it is a measure of how positive a start Gareth Southgate has made that said veteran forward should score after only 20 minutes with what was his third touch of the game.

As difficult as it is to imagine Jermain Defoe still being involved come next year's World Cup, the Sunderland forward represents another positive example of Southgate's so far shrewd judgement. 

Five-year-old Sunderland fan Bradley suffers from a terminal and rare form of cancer. Jermain Defoe and his ‘best mate’ Bradley Lowery led Gareth Southgate’s England out for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on his return to international football.

The Sunderland striker, making his first appearance for the national team in three-and-a-half years, held the hand of the five-year-old Bradley, who suffers from a rare form of cancer known as neuroblastoma. Defoe has struck an accord with the Sunderland-supporting youngster and, along with team-mates John O’Shea, Vito Mannone and Sebastian Larsson, visited him in hospital last month.

LONDON (AP) — Jermain Defoe was recalled to the England squad at the age of 34 on Thursday, more than three years after last playing for the national team. The Sunderland striker is among 26 players selected for England's upcoming matches after captain Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane were ruled out because of injury. Defoe has scored 19 goals in 55 England appearances but last played in 2013. Although Sunderland is last in the Premier League, Defoe has 14 goals from 27 appearances.

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Sleep tight little one... πŸ’™ https://t.co/iGqLXdvlVi
To the Sunderland fans. You have been amazing... πŸ”΄βšͺ https://t.co/9bhwfj0nEm
I do πŸ™ŒπŸΏ... #afcbπŸ’ https://t.co/bWzAjO4i6X
I know which one I'm voting for... πŸ‘€ #boom #JD18 #SoL20 https://t.co/pCl6sDDcIA
We're all smiling for you little man! Keep fighting, @Bradleysfight! ❀ #SmileforBradley https://t.co/oqCdr4dT9o
Buzzing to see more of this... πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ˜‚ #England #JD18 https://t.co/tEgWRaHPHQ
Spurs star has Christmas message for Voice readers

DETERMINED

β€œI have had a fantastic year, apart from my injury which has only made me even more determined to achieve the best I can in 2010/2011.” During the festive period, Defoe’s and others thoughts will turn to the many who suffered loss during the recent hurricane which claimed over 14 lives in St Lucia. He added: β€œThis year has held many trials and tribulations within our global community. I for one have prayed deeply for those who were affected in my homeland St Lucia but my prayers are also with the other countries who have suffered from natural disasters.”

VISIT

With the Christmas period noted for bringing joy to young people, the Spurs striker not long ago made a significant visit. β€œI recently visited 10 Downing Street to support the Starlight charity, who help to grant wishes to seriously ill and terminally ill children. β€œMy time spent with the children made me reflect on how lucky the majority of us are to be blessed with another day and good health. β€œLet’s make 2011 one to remember, as what we do today will reflect on our loved ones tomorrow. β€œIn life there are no guarantees, so live today as though your life depends on it and make the necessary steps to help you achieve your dreams.”

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England boot camp replicated penalty pressure, says Jermain Defoe

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England striker Jermain Defoe says the squad's visit to a Royal Marines boot cam... Read more

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Jermain Defoe focused on England ahead of expected Bournemouth move

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Jermain Defoe says he is focused on international duties ahead of an expected move to... Read more

Jermain Defoe reveals depth of bond with cancer su…

Jermain Defoe reveals depth of bond with cancer sufferer Bradley Lowery

18 April 2017

(CNN) - It's not unusual for friendships to be formed through football, but the bond ... Read more

BBC Sport Pundit selects Sunderland's Jermain Defo…

BBC Sport Pundit selects Sunderland's Jermain Defoe as his Premier League Player of the Year

31 March 2017

BBC Sport pundit Dion Dublin has picked Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe as... Read more

Jermain Defoe's England return a 'great story', sa…

Jermain Defoe's England return a 'great story', says Gareth Southgate

27 March 2017

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Simone Mueller pelennaco1989 Simone Mueller

RT @kevrjo1: Howay the lads 3 pts on sunday of the smoggies Sunderland till I die I'll be there @borinifabio29 @IAmJermainDefoe

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