The W-League’s top foreign scorer and former Melbourne Victory captain has returned to her home country after a number of years abroad.
Natasha Dowie is what is commonly known in football as a journeywoman. In her seventeen year football career, so far, the 32-year-old has represented no less than twelve teams in six countries.
Starting in her home country of England, Dowie represented multiple English clubs including Watford, Fulham, Charlton Athletic, Barnet, Everton and Liverpool.
Then in 2015 Dowie made her first playing venture abroad and came to Australia. This would begin a near seven year foreign journey away from home, only briefly interrupted by a three match return to English side the Doncaster Belles in 2016.
The foreign journey saw Dowie play with the American Boston Breakers, the Swedish club Linköping, Norway’s Vålerenga and her season last year with Italian giants AC Milan.
Her longest stay at any club though, at home or abroad, is her stay with the Melbourne Victory.
Dowie was initially brought to the Victory by then coach Dave Edmondson for the 2015-16 season. Over the next five W-League seasons she would make it her club.
Upon her departure from the club last year she stated to melbournevictory.com.au:
“The experience has changed my life in so many positive ways, Melbourne has become my second home. I can’t say enough about Melbourne Victory as a club.
"It’s something that you will never understand until you have been a part of it. It truly is a family club from the top all the way through.”
The W-League may have changed Dowie, but Dowie also changed the W-League. Over her five seasons she made 59 appearances, scoring 34 goals. In the process she became the league’s top foreign scorer.
I her fourth season with the Victory she scored a total of nine goals which was integral to helping the club win its first regular-season league premiers trophy.
Her final season, the intense competitor’s scoring streak continued. She ended the season with a shared gold boot trophy with the award’s first four-way tie.
While Dowie expressed her love for both the W-League and the Victory, she stated her desire to commit to a club that would give her more year-round play as an important reason for signing with Italian giants Milan last year.
Her year in Italy saw her play 28 matches and become the team’s top foreign scoring player ever with a total of 14 goals registered.
While some may have hoped to see Dowie don the Victory blue jersey again, that will to happen this year. Dowie announced yesterday that she joined the FAWSL’s Reading FC for the upcoming season.
The journeywoman has returned home.