Victory boost ahead of Melbourne Derby


Melbourne Victory striker Natasha Dowie says last weekend’s win against Perth Glory was a huge boost ahead of Saturday’s clash with Melbourne City.

Victory’s 2-1 win against Glory ended a two-match losing streak and Dowie says it was good to put on a show in front of a big crowd and claim the three points.

“AAMI Park is my favourite stadium to play at, its always great and the pitch is beautiful.

“If you can’t play on that pitch, you can’t play on any. It’s a real joy.”

The result against Perth returned Victory to the top of the W-League table, and the 30-year old says it was the kick-starter the side needed.

“Going on, we knew if we got back on track and focused on doing what we’re best at, we knew we could get a result against Perth.

“I think there was a difference in our work rate. We hunted in packs and really defended well as a team all the way from the front to the back. We got back to creating chances as well.

“The result is massive and now we need to use that as momentum to finish off strong.”

With four matches remaining in the season, Dowie says that every game is crucial to maintaining confidence and building belief.

“We’ve got four cup finals left.

“The group is excited. It’s been a tough couple of weeks with back to back losses, but we couldn’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“It’s not easy and that’s what is so great about this W-League; that literally any team can beat anyone on their day.”

This week, Victory takes on cross-town rivals Melbourne City.

After a slow start to the season, which included a 2-0 loss to Victory, City have now won three matches in a row.

Dowie says derby matches are a real thrill, and that their opponents this Saturday should never be underestimated.

“The derby definitely always has that added spice.

“City is a strong team, they’re a tough opposition. Even if they have a slow start you expect them to start picking up results and pushing for a finals spot.

“We had a great result against them last time and we’ll look to go out there and put on another good performance and hopefully get the three points.”

The club’s all-time leading goal scorer, Dowie credits her teammates, as well as her dedication to training, for her impressive form so far this season.

“I love to get into the box, score goals and help the team win games.

“It sounds cheesy but I pride myself in being first on the pitch and last to leave.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career to score so many goals, but also to have such great teammates who help me.”

This season is Dowie’s third at the club at the first with a real chance of making an impact in the finals.

While insisting on taking it one game at a time, the English international admits it would be special to take this team all the way.

“It would be a dream come true to take this team to the top. I’m obviously very proud to captain the club given how much Victory means to me.

“I was here when we lost all of our players to City and it was really rock bottom, so to see the success we’re having is really exciting.

“But we’re not thinking too much about finals at the moment. Our focus is on Melbourne City this Saturday.”

Melbourne Victory hosts Melbourne City at Epping Stadium on Saturday, 5 January. Buy tickets in advance here.