Norwich old boy Jamie Cureton signs on to spearhead Cheltenham’s promotion push
- Credit: Alex Broadway/Focus Images
Ex-Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton yesterday signed a one-year deal with League Two Cheltenham Town.
The 37-year-old will link up with Mark Yates' squad when his current contract at Exeter officially runs out later this month. Cheltenham is Cureton's 13th stop on a varied career that included two spells at Carrow Road after joining as a trainee in 1993.
Cureton is the second-highest goalscorer currently active in the English professional game behind Crystal Palace's play-off hero Kevin Phillips. The Bristol-bred frontman plundered 21 goals for the Grecians last season to take his tally to 227 league goals in 495 appearances.
'I'm definitely happy to be here and it's always nice to get your future sorted out,' he told Cheltenham's official site. 'I spoke to the manager three or four weeks ago before heading off on holiday but it was all agreed and it was just a case of signing the contract. Cheltenham have missed out on promotion twice in the last two years so the aim has got to be promotion and hopefully we'll be up and out of this division by this time next season. The manager has told me that he will be bringing in a few more and we should as strong, if not stronger than last season.'
Yates has identified Cureton as a missing ingredient in Cheltenham's bid to go one better than play-off semi-final heartache last season when they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Northampton.
'I'm delighted we have been able to bring Jamie in,' he said. 'We saw what he can do last season and he scored 23 goals for Exeter which is a really good return so hopefully he can do something similar for us. We are hoping that his experience can play a key role too. We have had to be patient because it has taken a bit of time but it's paid off and we're excited to have him here. His movement is second to none in this division and that's what we want from him.'
Cureton revealed towards the end of his time with the Grecians he still has the hunger and the appetite to keep playing until he is 40.
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'I am going to keep going. I still have a real hunger for the game. I enjoy getting up and going training and still enjoy scoring and running around,' he said. 'As long as my legs keep going and someone wants to employ me I will keep playing. I think the boys at Exeter look as me as a bit of freak of nature. I am fitter now than maybe I was five or seven years ago. I work hard at it, purely because I want to keep playing. The coaches have spoken to me about doing yoga so I might look at that but generally I have just cut things out and if I can I might still be playing at 40. We'll see. I will definitely stay in football, whether that is coaching or something else. It is all I have known since the age of seven. School was never great for me. Football was my life and I will try to give as much back as I can when I retire.'