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Veteran striker Jamie Cureton enjoying the challenge of player-manager

By Matt Badcock

Jamie Cureton says he’s enjoying the dual challenge of scoring goals for Bishop’s Stortford as well as managing them.

The 43-year-old scored a hat-trick against Whitehawk last weekend to take him to the top of the Bostik Premier goal charts with 12, and also his own career landmark to 350.

While he’s planning to keep defying his years to stay on the pitch, this season has also seen the former Norwich City and Bristol Rovers striker move into a management role.

Interim joint-player-manager alongside Stortford owner Steve Smith, Cureton has settled into it well.

“I’ve worked under a lot of managers who just manage but have a real impact in the dressing room and don’t coach too much,” Cureton, who is also a coach at Arsenal’s academy. “Then I’ve worked with managers who do both, are very good managers and coaches, and they like to do everything. So I’ve seen both sides of it and I suppose it’s me thinking what my best skillsets are.

“Man-management, picking a team, finding players, I’ve always felt better equipped to do that. As long as you can still coach alongside it, which I can, it’s fine and then you have good staff around you.

“I never thought I’d go into management in coaching. I was doing more media, I spoke to people about being an agent and other different roles. For some reason I’ve gone into coaching more than the other side.

“I still do media but because of playing it’s difficult so it’s hard to go into that, but it’s something I still enjoy and I’d like to do more TV and radio in the future. There are a lot of options out there, I put my head into all of them and I see where I’m best suited.”

See Sunday’s NLP for a full interview with the Bishop’s Stortford striker as he talks goals, being joint-boss and giving hope to other players that retirement doesn’t have to come in their 30s.

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