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First team

The best bits of Defoe's press conference

Jermain Defoe smiles during his first AFC Bournemouth press conference.

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Striker Jermain Defoe was speaking to the press as he officially arrived as an AFC Bournemouth player once more.

17 years on, Defoe sat in front of the national media to reflect on a number of different topics.

Read the best bits below and check out the full video here.

On returning to the club after 17 years…

There’s many reasons I’ve come back, in the back of my mind I’ve always thought about it.

Watching the club come from where it’s come from to the Premier League it was always at the back of my mind watching that maybe one day it would happen, and that would be a dream.

It’s funny the way it’s turned out, it was an easy decision. I want to embrace this, I feel blessed to be here.

On returning to play under some of his former team-mates…

It’s a unique situation. It’s strange coming back and seeing Fletch who brought everything down for me, Eddie was the captain and I lived with Jason. It’s a special situation – it’s amazing to be honest.

To have so many people at the club who understand the journey is fantastic.

When I drove to Bournemouth earlier I got excited!

On having a connection with the club…

I’d say I’ve probably had more of a connection here than other clubs, I’d agree with that.

I remember when Harry Redknapp told me I was going to Bournemouth, I said, “where’s that!?”

He said that I’d love it and when I came down, straight away I was like “wow!” Even to this day I remember every goal. I was living with Jason, washing my own kit! I’ve got so many great memories, of course the ten in a row and things like that – I settled straight away.

I text Harry saying I'll be round for dinner now!

On the job Eddie Howe has done at the club…

It’s massive, I’m not just saying how good he’s been because it’s the thing to say. I’m hearing around the place that he’s in at 6.30am every day and that he is always the last to leave.

He never switches off and has a winning mentality. When we first spoke ahead of the move, he said “I would like to improve you.” For me, that was huge – even at the age of 34 and that’s a mark of him really.

That made me so excited to be here and I can’t wait to get my boots on and get started.

On his England future...

I hope I can continue, I feel I can here. You’re an international based on merit and that’s based on goals. If I continue to score goals, then why can’t I continue?

On keeping himself fit…

I wouldn’t say this to the lads, but I hope players around my age or maybe younger, saying, if JD can do it why can’t I? People know now that I’ve always been dedicated and I’ve answered a lot of questions.

I’m obviously not 17 or 18 anymore but I feel great, I understand my body and I’ve scored goals. If you look after your body your body will look after you so I work hard every single day.

On his special relationship with Bradley Lowery...

I don’t know how to put into words how I feel. That relationship with Brad, from the first moment I met him we had instant connection. He’s a great character. I speak to the family every day and I was with him a few days ago – it’s tough to see him suffer.

He will always be in my heart for the rest of my life. Me and my whole family are there for the family. It puts stuff into perspective. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Bradley.

Jermain Defoe smiles as he speaks to the media in his press conference.
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