Ex-Norwich City hitman Jamie Cureton prepares to come full circle ahead of FA Cup trip to Everton
06:30 08 January 2016
Focus Images 2009
Veteran former Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton is preparing to come full circle when he spearheads Dagenham & Redbridge’s bid for an FA Cup giant-killing at Everton in this weekend’s third round tie.
Cureton made his Canaries’ debut in a goalless league draw against the Toffees in 1994 but the Football League’s oldest outfield player is gearing up for his first-ever trip to Goodison Park.
“It’s funny how football works like that,” said the 40-year-old, with Dagenham the 14th different professional club of his long career. “I’ve not had a great time of it in The FA Cup through my career. I had a run to the fifth round with Bristol Rovers in 1999 and we drew Barnsley when they were in the Premier League and we lost 4-1.
“But I’ve not had many big draws when I’ve been to the third round or further, so this is the biggest tie I would have been involved in, in the competition. I made my professional debut against Everton in 1994. I came on as a sub when I was playing for Norwich, but I’ve never actually played at Goodison Park.
“There aren’t many grounds I haven’t played at and before the draw I was looking at that and thinking what a great draw Everton would be. It’s another one to cross off the list. It’s great for me on a personal level and it’s why we all love football and The FA Cup.”
Cureton is looking forward to the Daggers’ underdog tag against Roberto Martinez’s highly-rated squad after surviving a major scare against non-league Whitehawk in the second round.
Cureton’s early goal was cancelled out by a 95th minute equaliser which forced a tense replay in Sussex before the Daggers won 3-2 in extra-time to earn a money-spinning trip to Merseyside.
“When the draw was made we still had the replay with Whitehawk to get through,” he told the FA’s official site. “I thought ‘no, not again’ but of course we got through and now everyone is looking forward to the tie.
“We’ve not made it easy for ourselves, the replays we have had in this competition have been crazy games, but we’ve fought hard and feel like we’ve done more than enough to deserve this tie against Everton. I have been at clubs where I have left and the following season they have got massive teams so I don’t know what it is about me but I am looking forward to this one.”