Ever the team player, Natasha Dowie would happily sacrifice personal glory to win the Westfield W-League Premiership-Championship double with Melbourne Victory.
But that doesn’t mean the 30-year-old striker can’t have it all.
As well as chasing the ultimate team success with Victory, Dowie is also right in the mix for the Westfield W-League Golden Boot heading into the penultimate round of the 2018/19 Season.
Dowie is currently one of four players in the mix to finish as the top scorer with eight goals for the campaign so far.
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She is currently two goals behind leader Sam Kerr of Perth Glory (10), and only one behind Sydney FC’s Caitlin Foord and Adelaide United star Veronica Latsko.
But what Dowie has over her rivals for the top goal scorer gong is one extra game up her sleeve courtesy of Victory’s rescheduled clash with Canberra United on February 5.
“As a striker, first and foremost you want to have success with the team but I’m someone who prides themselves on scoring goals,” Dowie told www.w-league.com.au.
“At every club I’ve been at I’ve always got the golden boot [for the club] and that’s something that I’m really proud of, but I wouldn’t be able to do that without my teammates.
“In an ideal world it would be a dream come true to get my hands on the league golden boot this year, which I haven’t done before, but for me first and foremost, winning the league and winning the grand final is top of my list and then if I could wrap that up with the golden boot it would just be the perfect season.
“It’s very exciting and everyone is scoring and I’m sure there will be a lot more goals before the end of the season.”
Aussie Sam deserving of praise
One of the main challengers to Dowie in the hunt for the Westfield W-League Golden Boot is, of course, Perth Glory and Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr.
Kerr is looking to finish as the competition’s leading scorer for the second straight year, while she’s also been the leading scorer in America’s National Women's Soccer League the last two seasons.
And the Glory attacker will also be one of the key players in the Westfield Matildas’ hopes of going all the way at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France.
As a 14-cap England international in a World Cup year, you would understand if Dowie would be reluctant to talk up one of Australia’s best but the Victory skipper admits Kerr’s form is simply too good to ignore.
“You have to give credit to her, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football and she’s done it consistently now for the last few years in the NWSL and the W-League, they aren’t easy leagues to score goals in,” Dowie says.
“It’s obviously great for the Matildas and for Perth Glory, they both get the joy of having her in their team.
“She’s a player that works hard so she deserves all the plaudits she’s getting at the minute.”
Sydney FC ‘six-pointer’ on Sunday
Heading into the last two rounds of the regular season, Victory are currently on top of the ladder, one point ahead of the Sky Blues.
And the two fierce rivals meet on Sunday in a Big Blue that has almost everything on the line.
A win would almost assure Victory of the Premiership, but a loss would make things very intense over the next couple of weeks.
“It’s easy for the players to say that we haven’t been thinking about winning the league. We really have tried not to talk too much about that and that’s me being totally honest,” said Dowie, who scored a hat-trick against Sydney FC earlier this season.
“If you think too far ahead you always get distracted and I think that’s why we have done so well this year is we really have just taken it game-by-game.
“It’s a six-pointer game this weekend and we do know how big it is. We know if we come away with the win how massive that is for us…we’re nearly there then.
“They’ve [Sydney] probably, on paper, got one of the strongest teams in the league but those are the games you want to play in and I think this team and the way we have performed this year, we’re ready for it and we’re confident.”