FORMER Colchester United striker Jamie Cureton is training at his old club – and still has his heart set on staying in the Football League.

The 40-year-old striker, who scored 31 goals in 56 appearances for the U’s, is currently searching for a new club after being released by Dagenham and Redbridge at the end of last season.

Cureton has been training with Colchester’s under-21 squad at Florence Park and played 45 minutes against the U’s in their 3-0 pre-season friendly win at their alliance club Maldon and Tiptree, on Saturday.

The evergreen forward is looking to get himself into peak condition ahead of the new campaign - and says he is happy to help Colchester’s youngsters while he is doing so.

Cureton said: “I asked Browny (Wayne Brown) and Flynny (Tony Flynn) if they’d ask the gaffer if I could come in and train and said it wasn’t a problem.

“I’ve been training with the under-21s – I’m helping them and they’re helping me.

“They’ve been asking me some questions which is fine – I feel a bit funny going into their changing room!

"But they’ve been great and accepted me into their group.

“Browny’s been great and hopefully while I’m there training with them, I can help them as much as I can because they’re doing me a favour by helping me to get fit.

“I was in all last week training – there’s nothing on it but it’s just a case of them allowing me to keep fit, which is good.”

Cureton’s two-year stay at Dagenham came to an end earlier this summer, following the club’s relegation to the National League.

But the former Norwich City striker, whose professional playing career spans two decades, says he is determined to remain in the Football League.

“If I felt like I couldn’t do a job at league level, then I wouldn’t even try,” added Cureton.

“But I still feel like I can do that and do someone proud.

“When that day comes when I maybe feel that I can’t get around the pitch, then I’d be the first to admit it but at the moment, I still feel I can.

“I still feel good – I thought I had a deal at another league club but it fell through.

“I’ve spoken to a few lower league clubs as well in the Conference and Conference South but for me, it was just a case of saying that until I know that the league is out of reach then I’ll look to stay at that level for as long as possible.

“If it means that there’s one more year then brilliant – if it means that it ends this year then I’ll have to look at that.

“I really want to give myself as much of a chance as possible for something to come off.”