Women's Super League: Natasha Dowie says Liverpool title is surreal
Liverpool Ladies striker Natasha Dowie has described the Reds's Women's Super League title win as "surreal".
The WSL top scorer helped her side to a 2-0 victory over Bristol Academy in Sunday's championship decider, but she said the feat "had not sunk in".
"It was nerve-wracking. I didn't enjoy any second of the game until the final whistle blew," said the 25-year-old.
"But to win the title feels unbelievable. To kiss and touch and hold the trophy was just surreal."
Dowie, the niece of former Northern Ireland striker Iain, scored 19 goals as Liverpool finished the season five points clear of Bristol at the top of the FA Women's Super League table.
She got an assist in Liverpool's crucial victory at Halton Stadium, laying the ball off for Katrin Omarsdottir to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Louise Fors had earlier put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot in a dominant display, but Dowie admitted there had been pre-match nerves.
"People try to play it down and say we'll just play our normal game, but we know football's a crazy game and anything can happen," said Dowie.
The England forward experienced FA Cup glory with Everton in 2010, but she said winning the league was her greatest achievement.
"This is the best day of my footballing career. People can go through their whole career and never have this opportunity," Dowie said.
"We deserved to win the title. The football we played this year was really attractive and we were the better team today."
Liverpool manager Matt Beard, who overhauled the squad at the start of the season after major investment from the club's American owners, said: "The players have been fantastic and they deserve it.
"We've a completely new squad that we've built together, and they just deserve the utmost respect and credit for what they've achieved this year.
"It just shows that if you get the right characters in and you've got that mindset and work hard, you can achieve anything.
"Our plan was always to challenge at the top end of the table. We recruited good players with the right character and that has shown throughout the year. They've put in a tremendous shift and deserve their success.
"They have done this themselves by spending time together off the pitch and creating a great team spirit."
"Huge congratulations to Liverpool," added Bristol manager Mark Sampson. "They have been the best team in the division. For us, we've done well overall and now have Champions League football to look forward to."
The FA Women's Super League was launched in April 2011 in a bid to improve the fortunes of the game in England.
Eight teams make up the division, with each having a minimum budget of £140,000, of which £70,000 must be generated by the club with a further £70,000 supplied by the FA.