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What Made Jermain Defoe The Player He Is? “My Mom’s Probably The Reason Why”
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Jermain Defoe, the current Toronto FC striking star and former Tottenham Hotspur player, explained to George Stroumboulopoulos how tough love from his mother in his youth made him the player he is today.

"I was lucky enough to have great parents," said Defoe. "My mom was really strict on me so I was in bed by nine o'clock."

George then asked Defoe how old he was when he realized that his mother was just trying to get him onto a good path.

"I think when you're a young kid you don't realize to be honest," said Defoe. "It's not until you get older and you sit back and you thank your parents because when I was young you could imagine I had a lot of energy. I wanted to be out on the streets.

"There was times in my bedroom and I could look, because I lived on an estate, there was times when I was in my room and I looked out the window and all my friends were sort of sitting on a bench with all their friends, probably smoking and drinking and talking to girls and you want to be a part of it.

"Maybe I didn't want to smoke and drink, but I didn't mind just being there on a bench with my friends chillin' out. But obviously as you get older you understand that maybe if I would have done that I wouldn't be here today."

Now that Defoe's older he can more clearly understand how this discipline has helped him.

"She used to say things like, 'You need to go to bed early. You've got training tomorrow.' 'You can't eat this, you gotta eat this.' And I'm like, 'What you mean I need to go to bed early?'" said Defoe. "No matter what happens, even if I go to bed at midnight I'll give it 100 per cent in training... but just that discipline from day one, which was so important because now I'm so disciplined and that's probably, my mom's probably the reason why, because when I was young I used to eat the right things, I used to go to bed early, so from a young age I had a lot of energy for training. I could always train well. I could always play well.  

"But yeah, every day she would drum into me just the importance of just doing the right things."

Jermain Defoe's interview with George airs Monday, April 7 at 7 pm on CBC.