Victory captain Dowie locks sights on trophy double in 2019/20
Melbourne Victory captain Natasha Dowie is hungry for a Westfield W-League Championship to take away the ‘bitter taste’ of the Premiers' Semi Final defeat.
England international striker Dowie fired Victory to the Westfield W-League Premiers Plate in 2018/19, scoring nine goals, the joint second highest in the campaign.
Victory stunned the league by going from seventh in 2017/18 to top the pile last season, wrestling the balance of power in Victoria away from three-time Champions Melbourne City.
An otherwise glorious campaign ended with a sour taste when Victory went down 4-2 in extra-time against Perth Glory in the Finals Series. It is a feeling Dowie has not forgotten.
“There’s a bitter taste of losing in the semi final against Perth so I definitely want to go one better this year and get the double,” Dowie told w-league.com.au
“I’m so excited. The W-League is one of my favourite leagues to play in.
LIVE AND FREE: 14 Westfield W-League matches you can watch on free-to-air TV
SIGNING NEWS: Victory add experienced duo to Westfield W-League squad
“There’s a lot of pressure on us this year as defending premiers, to go and win the league again.
“I think as a player you want to have that pressure. You don’t want to be in a team where teams feel like they can beat you easy.
“I feel like you want to win every game and you want to have that pressure of winning every game.
“I live every day with that pressure of helping the team win.”
TRANSFER UPDATE: Every Westfield W-League In for the 2019/20 Season
VICTORY'S DRAW: Every match for Melbourne Victory in the 2019/20 Season
Dowie has been staying sharp head of the Westfield W-League season on loan at Vålerenga in Norway’s Toppserien over the Australian off-season.
The 31-year-old netted 11 goals in 18 matches to put Vålerenga second in the table and she cannot wait to run out in front of Australian fans in 2019/20.
“The way the league is run is great. The publicity on the TV, the stadiums that we get to play at, the double headers,” Dowie said.
“All of these things we don’t get to do when you are playing in other countries. I think it really adds to the excitement.
“If we are playing really well on the pitch and [supporters] are enjoying what they see then they will actually get off the sofa, come to the stadium and watch us.
“It’s down to us as players to put on a good show where people think ‘wow, I want to watch those girls live.’”
Victory get the defence of their first ever Premiership under way in the Big Blue derby against Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday, 17 November at 4.00pm AEDT.
KEY MATCHES: Every key date & derby for Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season
HOW TO WATCH: Every Westfield W-League 2019/20 match live and free
CAN'T MISS GAMES: Five matches that could shape the Westfield W-League Season