England opportunity beckons for Natasha Dowie, says Sue Smith
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/03/18 2:48pm
Natasha Dowie has a chance to put herself back in the England reckoning when she lines up for Linkopings against Manchester City in the Women’s Champions League this week.
That is the view of England legend Sue Smith, who played alongside Dowie during the well-travelled striker's brief spell with Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2016.
Dowie has scored five goals in 14 international appearances but has not featured for the Lionesses since coming on as a substitute in England's 10-0 World Cup qualification win over Montenegro in 2014.
The 29-year-old signed a six-month deal with Linkopings at the end of last month - after playing stints in America and Australia - and is set to feature for the Swedish champions in their quarter-final first-leg clash at City on Wednesday.
"It will be great to see Tash Dowie back in England because it just adds a little bit more spice to the tie," Smith told Sky Sports.
"She's a top player and a proven natural goalscorer wherever she has played. No matter where she goes she will score goals and she has got a winning mentality.
"I'm sure England coach Phil Neville will be watching the game and she'll want to show him 'I am a goalscorer, I have played for England and I am available for selection'.
"So it's an opportunity for her. And why not? I think she got the ability to take that opportunity."
Dowie rose to prominence after productive spells at Charlton and Everton during the early part of her career before joining Liverpool Ladies in 2012.
The Abu Dhabi-born striker was dubbed 'The Goal Machine' at Liverpool, scoring 45 goals in 42 appearances as she helped the Reds win back-to-back Women's Super League titles in 2013 and 2014.
"Tash can certainly add to the [England] squad," added Smith.
"She brings different qualities. She holds up the ball really well, brings other players into the game, has got good vision and is a natural goalscorer.
"She gets herself into the box and, more often than not, is in the right place at the right time. She just has a real belief and an air of confidence about her, and if she keeps scoring the goals I don't think you can ignore her."
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