British pair Natasha Dowie and Christy Grimshaw are getting ready for an enormous week with AC Milan within the membership’s quest to win a primary trophy of their historical past.
Milan, presently second in Serie A, tackle league leaders Juventus on Sunday earlier than dealing with metropolis rivals Inter Milan within the semi-finals of the Italian Cup on 14 March.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the pair focus on life in Milan, Italian meals, the language barrier and their quest to search out Juventus.
Pizza, pasta and Italian classes
Former England striker Dowie says it has been “an incredible experience” thus far in Italy since becoming a member of from Melbourne Victory final summer season, regardless that she has not been capable of discover Milan totally resulting from coronavirus restrictions.
“You have the mountains, the lake, incredible food, the fashion and the lifestyle which is pretty special,” she mentioned.
“Everyone knows Italy has such good food. It can be dangerous sometimes! Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that we have to stay in at the moment?
“The pizza, the pasta, the life-style and the eagerness they’ve for meals over right here is basically what I like. Food for me, aside from soccer, is my greatest love. I believe it is actually particular when you may share meals with your loved ones and pals. The Italians do this so effectively – it is a large occasion for them.”
Scottish midfielder Grimshaw has also been making the most of Italian food but is missing a few home comforts, having joined from French side Metz in July.
“The pre-match meals has at all times been pasta but it surely’s a lot better high quality pasta than again house, as you may think about!” said Grimshaw. “But fish and chips and Sunday roast dinners… I miss them rather a lot.”
But while both have enjoyed the lifestyle, the language barrier has been “actually troublesome” says Dowie, who is taking lessons supplied by the club twice a week.
“I’ve performed in Norway and Sweden however this has positively been essentially the most difficult regarding the communication aspect of issues,” she said. “I’m attempting to take it as a optimistic as it’s important to make extra of an effort to attempt to join with the gamers and the workers.
“It’s tough because a lot of the Italian players want to learn English. Their English is better than my Italian so they tend to speak that to me which means I don’t get to practise Italian as much. It is hard but we are all trying and I think the Italian players can see that.”
Grimshaw added: “Football is kind of its own language. Off the pitch it’s really difficult to try and make those relationships. On the pitch we almost have a mutual understanding of the game.
“It’s a little bit of a battle. We’re getting there although. We have Italian classes and we attempt to make jokes. The Italian women all snort at us!”
‘We reside for this second’
Just three points separate Milan and Juventus before this weekend’s match and Dowie hopes they can put pressure on the leaders, who have won three back-to-back titles.
“It’s a ‘six-pointer’ this weekend. We all know the way necessary it’s. Juventus do not lose video games. Winning turns into a behavior and they’re excellent at it,” mentioned Dowie.
“We need to win. They have a greater aim distinction as effectively so hopefully they’ll slip up a bit all through the remainder of the season or we have to begin scoring some extra targets.
“Then we have Inter Milan in a semi-final. It’s brilliant. It’s a derby and they are the ones you want to play in.”
Milan, who fashioned their ladies’s staff in 2018, have introduced a brand new problem to Juventus however Dowie says the league is now “really competitive” and “took me by surprise” because it prepares to turn into totally skilled subsequent season.
Grimshaw says the model of Italian soccer has improved her recreation as she continues to push for a spot within the Scotland nationwide staff.
“There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes before every game. We focus so much on the tactical and analysis side. I need to add that to my game, so being here is really good for me. I’m really enjoying that,” she added.
“Training has been really good this week. We live for this moment. We’re hoping to win our first trophy this season.
“It would combine issues up rather a lot [if we beat Juventus]. The extra I play effectively and get on the rating sheet – particularly this weekend – the opposite stuff will come because of that.”