Cureton: Orient are a club on the up
New O’s forward confident the club can have an impressive season
Jamie Cureton celebrates his 36th birthday later this month, but the much-travelled striker has lost none of his appetite for the game and believes he can play a part in helping Orient push for promotion this season.
The former England youth international, who started his professional career with Norwich City back in 1993, is one of a select band of players who has scored over 200 league goals and he is keen to keep adding to that tally.
Several sides wanted to sign the experienced striker after he netted 20 times for Exeter City last term and then declined a new deal with the Grecians.
But Cureton admits he was drawn to Orient, because he believes they are a club on the up.
“The way Orient played last year really impressed me,” he said.
“Speaking to the manager (Russell Slade) was real good. He came across really well and with the group of players he had, I felt there was an opportunity to come here and do well.”
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Despite his age, Cureton insists he still has plenty of ambition: “I don’t really go anywhere where I want to stand still, he said.
“I want to move forward and I felt this club that was doing that. I think the manager has brought in some good players, along with the ones that were already here, and I think we have a chance and that was the attraction definitely.”
And Cureton has not been disappointed since he signed on the dotted line: “First impressions, it’s really good,” he said.
“I think we have got a good squad. We play a different type of football to most clubs. We are prepared to put the ball at risk and play out from the back, which not a lot of clubs do. But we have got good players to do it.
“The manger’s brought it in and the boys are use to it and it’s just a case of the new boys getting used to that style. Overall, I think we have got a good group and hopefully we can have a really good season.”
Cureton believes the Orient’s style will suit him. “I’m not the biggest and I don’t want things smashed around my neck,” he smiled.
“So it’s nice to be involved in little plays and one-twos and hopefully I can play off the last man and stretch the pitch a bit and get in behind and get my goals.”
Cureton joins a four-strong Orient strike force that netted 61 goals between them in all competitions last season.
Apart from the former Exeter man’s 20-goal haul, Alex Revell (16), David Mooney (14) and Jonathan Tehoue (11), all reached double figures and Cureton knows competition for places will be fierce, but believes that will only help drive the team and players on.
“You don’t want to come to a club where you know you are going to play each week because sometimes you don’t get the best out of yourself,” he said.
“If you have got people pushing you that’s what you want.
“If I’m in the team I will be determined to stay in the team and that’s the same for the other boys. If we can all push each other then we will be doing well.”
A veteran of 18 league campaigns, Cureton knows better than most the key ingredient for promotion and said. “Being consistent is the key.
“No team normally runs away with it. It’s a case that if you lose, try not to lose too many games on the bounce. Try and get back with a win or a draw as soon as possible and, if you can do that, then you have got every chance.
“The boys were saying that last season they didn’t start well and ended up missing out by a point. It shows that you can have bad runs, but you just need that consistency.”