Jermain Defoe intends to eventually follow former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard by taking a first step into management – even if it would leave him with grey hairs and sleepless nights.
The 35-year-old striker is not yet ready to move back from the frontline, aiming to help continue Bournemouth’s progress in the Premier League this season.
Defoe, though, revealed once he finally decides to call time on his playing career, then making the transition into coaching would appeal.
Having started out as a raw teenager at West Ham before moving on to spells at Tottenham (twice), Portsmouth, the Major Soccer League with Toronto and then Sunderland – as well as earning more than 50 England caps – the forward feels it is a challenge he could meet head on.
Speaking to The Offside Rule Exclusives, Defoe said: “It was always going to happen with Stevie G and Frank, because they’re two natural leaders with unbelievable careers. They’ve both been captains, two people who still love the game.
“I was with Frank at West Ham from a young age. His upbringing, his dad from the East End, he’s such a nice guy, Lamps – and he loves his football. I think with Frank he was always going to go on and be a manager.
Jermain Defoe (left) celebrates with Steven Gerrard (right) when playing for England. (Steve Parsons/PA Images)
Image credit: PA Sport
“Stevie – the same. Liverpool lad, loves his football, he’s a leader, and even when he was captain of England, he was vocal, but I’d say more vocal on the pitch. With some people, when you’ve got that presence you don’t need to say much. He had that.”
Defoe, whose own experience has been tapped into by Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, added: “Even now when we do a finishing session, I’ll give my opinion, so naturally, I think I’d be good at coaching.
“Management is different, that’s stress. That’s when you start getting grey hairs, sleepless nights, but again it’s a challenge and it is something I want to do at some point.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe (right) talks to Defoe. (PA)
Image credit: PA Sport
“I want to do my badges at some point this year. Just stay in the game and give something back to the younger players. That would be special for me.”
Defoe won the last of his 57 international caps during 2017 in the build-up to the World Cup finals, with the call coming from Gareth Southgate following almost four years out of the England picture.
The 35-year-old, who has scored 20 England goals, is not about to close the door on another potential recall for the Three Lions.
“I’ve never been someone to give up on anything or say ‘I’ve retired’. If I’m selected I’m not going to choose not to go,” Defoe said.
“The England squad now is like a club environment. That sort of bond, it’s like being at a club.”
– You can listen to the full episode The Offside Rule Exclusives with Jermain Defoe on iTunes.