Ex-Canary Cureton aiming to be fab at 40

Former Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton will continue his relentless quest for goals next season, revealing: 'I'd like to play until I'm 40.'

The 35-year-old Cureton, who scored his first senior goal for the Canaries nearly 17 years ago – in a 3-0 Premiership home win over Chelsea – is poised to move again this summer after reviving his career with League One club Exeter City last season, scoring 20 times and being voted player of the year.

His tally of 224 goals in English club football is bettered only by Kevin Phillips, of those still playing in 2010-11, though Phillips has been released by Birmingham since relegation to the Championship.

Cureton's second spell at Carrow Road ended tamely more than 12 months ago after he played little part in their League One title success and was released by manager Paul Lambert, but he is thrilled to see Norwich back in the division where he was given his first team baptism back in 1994.

'Definitely – I'm delighted. The club will always be close to my heart,' he said.

'You can't let things that have happened at a club change that. At some places it works out, and at some it doesn't.

'I've always wanted them to do well and I still speak to a lot of the boys up there. I'm delighted for everyone involved, it's a great place to play and the club deserves to be in the Premier League.

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'The manager has done tremendously with back-to-back promotions – it's ridiculous, really.'

Cureton, who scored 24 goals in 108 senior appearances for City, is confident they have a good chance of staying in the top flight under Lambert.

He said: 'They're on the crest of a wave and will want to carry it on. They're a good group with a good work ethic and there are new players brought in to help out.

'Every club that goes up finds it tough but there's no reason they can't do well. A good start will help, although as Blackpool found out that doesn't always keep you up. I think you just have to be consistent.

'I've played against both the new strikers. Steve Morison looks like a hard-working player, similar to Grant Holt, runs the channels, has a physical approach and gets goals. James Vaughan is not that type of player, but more a natural goalscorer.

'It helps that they're coming into a squad full of confidence and doing well.'

Cureton's one-year contract at Exeter paid off handsomely for both player and club. The Grecians equalled the highest Football League position in their history, finishing eighth in League One, and were agonisingly close to Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, losing to Brentford in the two-leg southern area final.

'Last season was great, a new club and a fresh start,' said Cureton. 'I had a disappointing last couple of seasons at Norwich so it was great to score 20 goals in a side that was playing really well and pick up both player of the year awards.

'A few people thought I hadn't got it any more and my time was up so it was a proud moment.

'We just missed out on a place at Wembley when we reached the area final of the JPT and we finished a point outside the play-offs, so it was a really good season.

'It was just a shame we didn't finish off with a trip to Wembley or the play-offs.'

Nevertheless, Cureton admits it is unlikely he will start next season with Exeter, where manager Paul Tisdale has already made three new signings.

He said: 'We spoke about a contract but I felt I wanted to see what options were out there. I had to live away from my missus, who was in Essex, all last season so the plan for the summer was to see what other options there were and it looks as if I can make a decision next week.'

Former club Bristol Rovers are among those to have spoken to Cureton, but he added: 'I'm not sure if that will happen.'

Meanwhile, the Bristol-born Cureton has no plans to hang up his boots.

He said: 'I haven't really set a time – after having such a good year at the age of 35, I'm playing it by ear. I'd like to think I've got at least two years in me. I try to keep fit and if I feel I'm doing myself justice, I'd like to keep going to 40 if possible.

'I suppose it's my hunger and love for football. I enjoy getting up every day and going training. I enjoy playing on Saturdays and scoring goals – that's my drive. I do really, really enjoy it.'

As for the possibility of being the highest-scoring striker still playing in England, he said: 'I've never really thought about it. I believe someone wrote two or three years ago that I was in the top three with Kevin Phillips and Marcus Stewart, but Marcus has retired now, so I suppose it's just Kevin in front of me.'