Q&A: NATASHA DOWIE
Interview & Illustration: Archie Willis
In October 2020, the famed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as San Siro, hosted its first ever game of women’s football. It’s certainly been a long time coming. Even a 12th minute penalty from Italy international Cristiana Girelli to give Juventus a 1-0 victory over Milan didn’t take any excitement away from the prospects for the Rossonere. Under the leadership of former Rossoneri striker Maurizio Ganz, Milan are building something special. One of the many exciting summer recruits is Natasha Dowie. After spells in America, Australia, Sweden and Norway, the England international now leads the Rossonere attack. We chatted to Natasha about Serie A, the fans’ support and the exciting project taking place at Milanello.
Hi Natasha. To kick things off, tell us about your first impressions at Milan - the squad, wearing the number ten shirt and playing under Maurizio Ganz...
“[I] was very impressed with the set up here at Milan. The training facilities are top quality. The squad welcomed me in with open arms and Maurizio was energetic and enthusiastic which is what I love in a coach.
The number ten shirt is a special number not just here in Milan but across the world so I will do my best to live up to the high expectations that come with wearing this shirt.”
Although it ended in a 1-0 win for Juventus, what were your thoughts on making history by taking part in the first women’s match to be held at San Siro? And how much are you looking forward to playing there in front of thousands, when it’s safe to do so?
“It wasn’t the best game which was disappointing but the experience to play at the San Siro is one that I won’t forget and was a real honour. I hope we can play there again in the future with all our supporters there next time cheering us on to victory.”
Having played at the very highest level with Liverpool and England, what do you think of Italian football so far?
“I have been impressed. The league is competitive. It is very similar to the Scandinavian leagues I have played in. I think it will only get stronger.”
Although it’s different with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, do you still feel the affection from Milan fans and the city?
“100%. The support I have received since signing for Milan has been crazy and the most I have ever received in my whole playing career. It’s been breathtaking.”
With six wins from seven matches and two player of the month awards already in the bag (as of November 2020), what are your hopes for the season ahead with Milan and the future in general?
“To win the league with Milan or at least make the Champions League. Win all the cup competitions available and to get the golden boot. I’m here to win everything.”