Norwich City old boy Jamie Cureton prepares to come of age
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
Ex-Norwich City stalwart Jamie Cureton aims to prove he can still cut it ahead of his landmark campaign at new club Dageham and Redbridge.
The 38-year-old is poised to embark on his 21st season in the professional ranks after signing a one-year deal with the ambitious League Two Daggers.
Cureton made his Norwich debut in November 1994 and notched the 250th league goal of his career for Cheltenham Town against his new employers last year at Victoria Road.
'I've played at Dagenham twice and scored twice so you could say it has been a good ground for me,' he said. 'Wherever I go people expect me to score goals but I put more pressure on myself to be honest. As soon as I get going I will be looking to get on the scoresheet and I feel confident I can still do it. I had a few non league offers but I still felt fit and the way last season finished for me I believed I could still do a job in the league. I'm really pleased to stay at this level and prove to people I can do the business. I started 21 games last season so to score 11 goals wasn't too bad, but I am still pushing myself to achieve more. Hopefully I'll get more this season.'
Cureton admitted moving to Essex to be nearer his family was a major attraction.
'It was important that I tried to find somewhere closer to the family. My wife is from just up the road and I made a promise I would try and get as closer to her and Dagenham is probably the best I could have found,' he said. 'I wouldn't have just signed for that, the club would have to be right and it has worked out perfectly. I've also enjoyed pre-season with the lads and that was a big factor when I was offered a contract.'
The Bristolian knows his vast experience will be invaluable as Wayne Burnett's squad look to improve on a top 10 finish.
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'I expect a bit of banter throughout the year no doubt for my age, but the manager has spoken to me and said he will try and get me involved with passing on my experience to the younger lads so I see that as part and parcel of my role,' Cureton told Dagenham's official site. 'Hopefully they listen, I wasn't the best of listeners when I was their age. You have to look after yourself now a bit more than I did when I was a youngster. Every day really you have to prepare yourself to get ready for training so this new season will be no. The manager has brought in some really good players, he is looking to add and I know after a really good season last year there is a belief they can kick on again.'