Doncaster Belles: New signings add serious goal threat

Natasha Dowie
Natasha Dowie

Goals were an issue for Doncaster Rovers Belles when they last played in FAWSL1.

The 2013 campaign - ruined by the club’s now infamous ‘relegation’ for not meeting FA criteria - saw Belles muster just nine goals in 14 top flight fixtures.

So it is hardly surprising that boss Glen Harris has moved to bolster Belles’ firepower ahead of their return to the top division.

But the nature of that strengthening must have taken even the most optismistic Belles fans by surprise.

Last week’s confirmation that the club had secured the services of England and Liverpool striker Natasha Dowie is a feather in Doncaster’s cap - and a big statement of intent from the FAWSL1 returnees.

In 2013 Dowie was named FA Players’ Player of the Year as she helped Liverpool win the first of two successive FAWSL titles.

That season saw her bag 13 goals in 14 games - four more than Belles managed in total. At 27 years of age, she should be at her peak.

With last season’s FAWSL2 top scorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and returning striker Jess Sigsworth to also pick from - and Sue Smith supplying the bullets - goals should not be such an issue for the Belles in 2016.

Dowie on signing for the Belles: I’m very pleased. I’m at a stage in my career where I have won a lot of things and I see Doncaster as an exciting, up and coming team with a great set-up.

“I know a lot of the players and think they, as well as the staff, are great characters on and off the pitch.

“The offer I was given ticked all of the boxes.

“I want to win silverware. I’m a winner full stop.

“I’ve come to Doncaster to win things or to at least challenge until the end.

“I want to bring lots of goals to the club this season. I’m a hard-worker who never gives up so I hope this will be appreciated by the players and fans.

“I’m an experienced player and I’m studying to do my UEFA A (coaching) Licence this year so hope I can help develop players.”