Premiership crowns love story for inspirational Victory skipper Dowie

She’s one of the most accomplished English players of her generation, but clinching the Westfield W-League Premiership with Melbourne Victory has Natasha Dowie on a career-best high.

The 30-year-old lifted the club’s maiden Premiers’ Plate on Tuesday evening after a 0-0 stalemate with Canberra United, four years after she originally touched down in Melbourne.

She has since been an ever-present leader in an era of gradual evolution for the Victory, who have been among the competition’s cellar dwellers during Dowie’s time at the club.

However, winning the Premiership is a feeling of elation that the inspirational Victory skipper, a back-to-back FA Women’s Super League winner with Liverpool ranks as one of her best moments in the game.

“It’s definitely the best [moment of my Victory career],” she said.

“It’s up there with probably the best moments of my whole football career. I’ve been lucky enough to win the league with Liverpool, the team that I support.

“But Victory is my team as well you know, I’ve fallen in love with the club.

“To have been here for four years now and been bottom of the league two years in a row and really gone through some rough times with them to have now won the league – it’s a dream come true.”

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Dowie’s stellar form in front of goal this season, in which she tallied nine goals in 12 games, was a major factor in firing Victory to their maiden Premiership.

But Melbourne’s title triumph has not been an overnight feat.

The Victory finished ninth, ninth and seventh before the 2018/19 campaign, and Dowie was quick to laud the role of head coach Jeff Hopkins in masterminding an extraordinary turnaround since he joined the club in June 2016.

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“I can’t really say enough about Jeff. I came to the club and he’s changed the club in three years,” she said.

“He’s firstly a great person, he’s my friend – he’s not my coach you know – he’s a friend of mine now and we’re going to be friends for life.

“He’s in the office until one, two o’clock some mornings.

“So, he deserves this massively, as well as the players, as well as the coaching staff and the club.

“It’s the best club that I’ve ever played for and they’ve made me feel right at home. I’m so happy for Jeff – let’s go win it all for him now.”

Jeff Hopkins; Natasha Dowie