One to Watch - Jamie Cureton
Former QPR striker Jamie Cureton has been outlined by Vital QPR as the one to watch ahead of the midweek clash with Norwich City.
It all began at Carrow Road for the Bristol born forward as he came up through the ranks at Norwich City`s academy. He got his first taste of league action following his release from the Canaries by boss Mike Walker as he returned home to Bristol Rovers.
He made his debut for the Gas in their 1-0 away win over Plymouth Argyle and bagged a brace in the following fixture at home to Chesterfield. Nine further goals that season took his tally to 11 as Rovers finished 17th place in Division 2.
14 goals the following season saw Cureton help fire Rovers towards promotion contention as they finished in a much improved fifth place behind local rivals Bristol City who were promoted in second place.
A stunning 1998/99 season saw Cureton propel himself to goalscoring fame. The signs were good when he scored three in his first three fixtures, this combined with several others gave him 27 goals for the season - four of which were scored in a 6-0 away win against Reading. Playing off Jason Roberts Cureton had found himself a real home at the Memorial Ground.
In 1999/00 Cureton continued on his mesmerising goalscoring run scoring a further 24 goals for the Gas. However Rovers couldn`t live up to Cureton`s expectations and he left them for pastures new and Reading and didn`t wait too long to make an impact with the Royals supporters.
He bagged a debut goal against Leyton Orient before scoring another 29 goals that season to take his tally to a staggering 31 for the season. There was playoff heartbreak for the Royals as not even a goal from the talented teenager could see them through against a resilient Walsall, who scraped through in extra time.
The following season however Cureton and Reading got their promotion with 16 goals from Cureton a key contributor to the success. His 77th minute equaliser to a Martin Rowlands strike against Brentford saw the Royals to promotion and put him down in Reading folklore.
Reading were not in the mood to hang around in Division One and Cureton looked to carry on in familiar fashion with six goals in four games near the start of the 2002/03 season. However 15 games without a goal saw him go through the first real baron spell of his career. His nine goals were useful as Reading made the playoffs only losing out to eventual winners Wolverhampton Wanderers.
During his three years with the Royals, he endeared himself to the supporters so much that the supporters club named a star after the forward. However he opted to move onto pastures new and left for South Korea and the Busan Icons.
After a brief spell with the Korean outfit it became apparent he wanted to return to England and QPR came calling. He scored a valuable brace to see QPR to a last gasp win against Port Vale at Loftus Road, and helped the R`s to promotion on a glorious day at Sheffield Wednesday.
Despite having a great pedigree at Championship level, Cureton struggled to make an impact on the Rangers side - unless they were playing Coventry City of course. Four goals in two games against the Sky Blues were his only ones in the Championship for QPR.
He left Rangers for Swindon Town but couldn`t seem to stem the lack of goals that had blighted his QPR career. However a loan spell at Colchester United kick-started his career scoring seven goals in ten games for the U`s. He returned to the County Ground to score a further seven goals for Swindon but it appeared his future lie elsewhere as he signed permanently at Layer Road.
It was here that he recaptured his sensational form scoring 24 goals as Colchester finished in the incredible position of 10th in the Championship as he and Chris Iwelumo rejuvenated their career under Geriant Williams.
Just as he found his feet at Layer Road he was on the move once more as Norwich City made the £825,000 move for the forward as a replacement for outgoing Robert Earnshaw. Four goals in his opening two games made the price tag seem a snip.
A further ten goals that campaign included a hatrick against his former club Colchester United as they were eventually condemned to relegation back to League One. However this season he has found the going far tougher in the Championship.
A poor run saw him go 15 games without a goal and he was shipped out to Barnsley on loan where he bagged a couple of confidence boosting goals against Lancashire duo Burnley and Preston North End. His return to Carrow Road ironically enough saw him bag a goal in a 4-0 win over Barnsley.
Cuerton recently scored in Norwich`s 1-1 draw against Burnley and is looking to be Norwich`s leading marksman this season with Leroy Lita, Antoine Sibierski and Arturo Lupoli all completing their loan deals with the Canaries.
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