Cureton ploughing a lone furrow

Striker Jamie Cureton is going the extra mile in training to prove he can keep pace with Norwich City's young brigade when the new season gets under way.

Striker Jamie Cureton is going the extra mile in training to prove he can keep pace with Norwich City's young brigade when the new season gets under way.

Last term's top scorer will be 33 in August, making him the oldest member of the first team squad - barring the arrival of a more senior figure, such as 36-year-old free agent Andy Cole, understood to be a target for manager Glenn Roeder.

But Cureton, who scored 14 times on his return to the club, is not worried about approaching veteran status, and has spent time at Colney over the summer to get a head start with his fitness preparations before the return to training next Tuesday.

He said: “As I've got older, you learn that you have to do that. It makes pre-season easier. It's the first time I've come into the training ground. Normally, I will be away back home in Bristol and will do it in a gym.

You may also want to watch:

“There have been a few days I've gone in and literally no one has been there. It's been a bit dull but you're doing it for yourself, really. I hope I'll reap the benefits.

“You just have to focus and get into your mind what you're doing it for. It's for yourself, to have a good season, and you know that it's benefiting you.”

Most Read

Cureton admitted: “It is lonely at times. Sometimes it's better to go to a gym where there are more people around.

“But I think you go there, you focus, you do an hour or two hours of graft and then you try to get out and enjoy the rest of the day. You have to do it. Nowadays they want you coming back fit so you can get on the ball straightaway. You know everyone else is doing it, so you don't want to be the one that ends up at the back of the group when you're running.”

After Dion Dublin's retirement and Darren Huckerby's release, Cureton is currently the only over-30 in the squad.

He said: “It is quite strange being the elder statesman, it's the first time it's happened but I'm sure the manager will sign a few more experienced players. It's nice to be regarded as one of them and people might look up to me, I'm not sure, but I'm sure as a squad you need a few older heads in and around it, mingled with young lads.”

Cureton accepted it was “an up and down season personally and as a team” after his move from Colchester 12 months ago, and fully expects to have to battle for his place.

He said: “We've lost a few strikers and the gaffer has made it clear he wants to bring at least two in, which I'm sure he will and then it's down to all of us to fight for our places. I've got a foot in the door, he knows what I'm all about. If I can come back fit and start pre-season well, the aim is to be in the starting eleven for August 9.”

Cureton believes one big and powerful striker and one “maybe my type” will arrive before the new campaign gets under way.

He said: “We need as much competition as possible because people thrive on it and you push your performance that little bit harder because you want to be playing.

“We expected players to be coming in because of how many have left. We're slowly making headway. We've only signed one at the moment but you hear of people who have come and maybe looked round.

“We want as many players in as possible because we want to do well next year, so from the manager saying, I think, he wanted 12 players, he still needs 11 more at the moment.

“I'm sure they're working very hard. I'm in the training ground a lot and everyone's always in, on the phones. They're trying to get this club where it should be at the top end of this league and we need the players to do that.

“I'm sure by the middle of pre-season, the squad will be together.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus