'It's surreal to be back at Liverpool - I want to create more memories'

Interview'It's surreal to be back at Liverpool - I want to create more memories'

Published 31st January 2023
By Steve Hunter

To say Natasha Dowie is overjoyed to be back in her Liverpool surroundings would be putting it mildly.

The striker, whose goals played a large part in Liverpool FC Women winning back-to-back Women’s Super League titles in 2013 and 2014 under Matt Beard, has returned to the club on loan from Reading until the end of the season. 

The respect she has for the Reds boss is huge, and she can’t wait to try to repay the faith he has shown by bringing her back to her spiritual home. 

Dowie won’t be eligible to play against her parent club Reading on Sunday but she will be available to make a second debut next week when Leicester City arrive at Prenton Park – a game you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO

Read on as Dowie reflects on a whirlwind last few days for her… 

On her return to the club and following in the footsteps of Gemma Bonner… 

It’s been a surreal last couple of days and it’s all happened quite quickly, to be honest. But I’m over the moon to be back. This is my home and it’s where I’ve had such great memories – the best memories of my football career, winning the league here. I’m just really excited for the next four months. I'm on loan from Reading but I just really want to help Liverpool get up the table as much as I can and be involved. It was just great to see everyone’s faces this morning – Beardy, of course. It’s been a long time, but it just feels like yesterday that I was here.

Video: Dowie returns to LFC Women

On her conversation with Beard and what the expectations are on her return… 

A big thing for me right now is just to enjoy my football again. I don’t regret my time going to Reading at all but the last couple of weeks I’ve been lacking game time and I’m a player that wants to feel involved and be involved. I’ve scored goals throughout my entire career. The girls have been doing well here and Katie Stengel is having an amazing season, but I want to add some experience, some knowledge. I’ve travelled, I've played in six or seven different countries, and I've won things.

I've worked with Beardy as well and he is someone who knows how to get the best out of me. More than anything, he just makes me feel like a good human being. Even this morning, he gave me a big hug, and that genuine friendship we have as a player and a manager. I’m just going to come in and work hard.

I’m here for four months and who knows what the future holds? For me, I just want to be a positive player, really help the girls, lift the girls, and hopefully score some goals. That’s what I’ve always done in my career and it's so nice to be wearing the Liverpool shirt again – it’s the team I support, it's where I met my partner. We just have so many good memories here – and we're at home again. It’s going to be a really, really good time and I can’t wait to get started.  

On why she feels this is the right move for her career… 

The way Liverpool play attracts me. I think my style of play, being the striker that I am, will suit the way this Liverpool team plays as well. The players they have got here really excite me. They create a lot of chances. Even though, right now, we are at the wrong side of the table, a win here and there and you can jump places.

For me, it’s just about trying to cement myself and get myself a starting spot in the XI. I know that’s not going to be easy but I really hope I can help the team pick up those three points, because this league just gets tougher and tougher. I think Liverpool have done great so far, coming into this league and being where they are. But I think this club and what it’s about, we really want to be pushing and being where we should be, which is higher up the table. That’s really what I want to try to implement.

On how important the competition for places will be once everyone is fully fit again… 

Definitely, it really is. People could say I was getting game time at Reading and was it a risk coming here... But, for me, it’s not and it’s a win-win. I know all of the girls and have played with a lot of the girls. I played with Katie at Boston, and obviously Gemma, so there are familiar faces. Hopefully, it won’t take too long for me to bed myself in here and just be in the training environment and hopefully be a positive addition in that way [in the dressing room]. I also feel I can bring a lot to this team and help this team. You can already see they have a real togetherness, but I just think now it’s that final little bit. Hopefully, my experience and my goalscoring can help this team finish the season strongly.

On why she can’t wait for her Liverpool return against Leicester… 

If you look at the likes of us, Reading, Tottenham, Leicester and Brighton, there is kind of a little group at the wrong end of the table, all fighting to start kicking on. I would have loved to have played this weekend [against parent club Reading] but I think Leicester will be a really good game. It's a must-win. Those are the games we have to win. I would love to be involved, help the team get the three points and maybe get myself a cheeky goal. Obviously being televised as well, it would be a great game to start with. 

On some of the wonderful memories from her first spell under Beard... 

I know the league has improved now, 100 per cent, and it’s tougher. It really is. But I’ve always believed in myself and I’ve come back here because of Beardy’s belief in me. He said, ‘Tash, I know you score goals and whether that’s the goal to keep us in this league, it’s worth the signing.’ So, I’ll always believe in myself and if I get a chance, then I believe I’m going to put it in the back of the net. More than anything, I’m going to work hard for this team. I know it’s an emotional thing as well for me, because I support this club, but I already have a good feeling being back here and I haven’t even kicked a ball yet. 

On some unfinished business with Liverpool having travelled to play in so many countries… 

I’m a big believer in fate. Two days ago, I never ever thought this would be happening. To be honest, I never thought I’d play for Liverpool again. I have such fond memories [from my time here]. Things happen for a reason and obviously this has happened for a reason. To have travelled the world and played where I've played and to now to be back here, it does feel surreal. I would love, more than anything, to have a really positive impact and I want to create some good memories. Whether that’s just for these four months or moving forwards as well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Published 31st January 2023