JAMIE Cureton has issued a come-and-get-me call to former club Colchester United.

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The 35-year-old striker is now a free agent having rejected the offer of a new deal at Exeter City.

And he has revealed, in an exclusive interview with the EADT, that he would love to return to the U’s – a club where he went from hero to zero four years ago.

“I’ve spoken to a number of clubs and I’m pretty close to signing for one of them,” said Cureton, who scored 20 goals in all competitions for the League One Grecians last season and has been linked heavily with a return to former club Bristol Rovers.

“My agent did speak to Colchester a couple of weeks ago though and I’d be very interested in speaking to them again.”

"Hopefully the Colchester fans, deep down, understood my reasons for wanting to leave at the time"

Jamie Cureton

A return to Colchester would certainly split the opinion of U’s fans. The Bristolian became a hero at Layer Road by scoring 23 goals in the club’s first ever season in the Championship (06/07), but then angered them by handing in a transfer request that summer claiming the club ‘lacked ambition’.

He soon followed Wayne Brown, Richard Garcia and Chris Iwelumo out the exit door, joining Norwich City for a fee of around £800,000.

“Hopefully the Colchester fans, deep down, understood my reasons for wanting to leave at the time,” said Cureton, who never reached those same heights he achieved at Layer Road during his second spell at the Canaries.

“A number of players were leaving and it was just unfortunate timing with the change of owners.

“I’m sure if Robbie Cowling had come in a year earlier then a lot of those contracts would have got sorted out.

“It’s all history now though. I seemed to get a decent reception when I was subbed there last season (Colchester beat Exeter 5-1) and while there were a few who gave me a bit of stick you always get that as a former player anywhere.”

He added: “I’ve spoken to a number of clubs in League One and League Two and I want to get something sorted out by next week if possible. If Colchester were to get back in touch though I would hold off a bit longer to see what they said.

“Kemi Izzet used to be my neighbour and I still speak to him regularly and I obviously know Joe Dunne, Pat (Baldwin) and Whitey (John White) there.

“The location would be ideal for me too because my missus works in Essex. We’ve spent the last few years away from each other so it would be great from that perspective.

“I’m confident I’ve still got a few years left in me yet and I still want to achieve things in the game.”

JAMIE CURETON

Age: 35 (36 in August)

- Started his career at Norwich.

- Moved to hometown club Bristol Rovers where he scored 72 goals in 176 appearances.

- Unsettled spells in South Korean football, followed by QPR and Swindon.

- Helped Colchester get promoted during brief loan.

- After permanent move he scored 23 times – winning the golden boot – as the U’s finished 10th in their first ever Championship season.

- Handed in transfer request and joined Norwich for £800k.

- Disappointing three seasons back at the Canaries. Scored just 16 times.

- Reignited his career again with 20 goals for League One side Exeter last season.

- Offered a new deal at Exeter but has decided to see what other offers come in.

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