Melbourne Victory’s reigning Westfield W-League top scorer Natasha Dowie will return to the club for the 2016/17 season.
The England international, who joined Victory as a guest player last season, has rejoined the club on loan from US National Women’s Soccer League club Boston Breakers.
“It’s great to be back. I fell in love with the city last year and the club. It’s an amazing club to be involved in,” Dowie said.
“I was over the moon when Jeff Hopkins got in touch and said he wanted me to sign. I’ve heard great things about him as a coach.
“He could have had his pick of any striker, so I feel very privileged that he chose me out of all the players to represent such a great club, and it’s up to me now to do the business this season.
“I’m excited to get back with the team and for the season to start.”
Born in the United Arab Emirates, Dowie has played most of her football in England with stints at Watford, Fulham, Charlton Athletic and Everton, before joining Liverpool in 2012, where she played for three seasons.
After her stint for Victory last season, she switched to Doncaster Belles in England’s Women’s Super League, before most recently joining Boston.
Dowie started in seven games for Victory in last season’s Westfield W-League, scoring three goals.
“It was unbelievable. It was a young squad so I really had to step up and help the team,” she said.
“It was the first time I was playing abroad, so that was exciting to challenge myself against some top players.
“I was a guest player last year and only got to play seven games, so I was really eager to try and play a full season this year, and luckily it’s worked out.
“On a selfish point, I want to score goals. That’s why Jeff signed me. I’d love to be top goalscorer.
“I want to bring success to Victory. I’d love us to compete and to make playoffs.
“We have got a young squad, but we’ve also got some top internationals coming now with some good young Matildas and a top coach.”
Victory is putting the finishing touches to its Westfield W-League playing roster, with the first group of signings announced last week.