Heading into the new season fresh off the back of her Player Of The Season award, Town’s goal loving Striker Natasha Thomas can’t wait to hit the pitch and get back on the score sheets.
Not only did she win Player Of The Season, but also, Goal Of The Season with a stunning goal in the FA Cup v Chichester.
Ipswich have had to bat off clubs trying to temp the goal getter away from the Goldstar Ground, but she’s said to be more than happy at the club and wants to help them achieve their goals.
We caught up with Natasha to discuss her awards and her goals for next season.
Get to know you:
Player, Men’s or Women’s, who inspires you?
Messi, what an absolute player and individual !
A player, Men’s or Women’s, you would love to play alongside?
Imagine being able to have a mixed Football team and playing along side the likes of Messi and Lucy Bronze 🔥🔥
Not really a restaurant girl, get me a take away or I’ll cook a meal, nothing better than a home cooked meal 🥰💪🏽
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
I wouldn’t say so no but I’ll always try and keep in a certain headspace and clear everything out of my mind except from Football it’s self. keep focused !
What do you get up to outside of Football?
Outside of Football I work full time and sometimes I’ll work 6 days out of the 7 with football on the Sunday… but I love doing little bits around the house, work out, walks with my dog and see my friends and family.
What team do you support?
I don’t support anyone and I never have really but if I had to say a football club of course it would be Ipswich Town them selves #bluesss
Favourite TV Series?
Friday Night Dinner, if you haven’t watched it then what are you doing with your Fridays 😂
Football memory that you’ll never forget?
I will never forget the day I fell in love with football after scorning a triple hat-rick in my first ever competitive game for my local club Waveney Youth FC 💞
3 songs on your playlist?
All I do is win (also on the football play list from last season) 🤩
Pump it up 💪🏽
Intoxicated remix version 🙌🏽
Thoughts on VAR?
VAR.. well it is what it is really, if you’re offside you’re offside and if it’s handball then it’s handball, for the higher level football it’s such narrow margins between the decisions and that’s what the game is now we have to move with the times. Yes sometimes the decisions are ridiculous but hey we are all human and we all need something to moan about .. right😂🤦🏾♀️
Which team mate would you choose to room share with on an away trip?
Ellie, we share a room every time we travel and if there’s a long trip Ellie loves giving me her 5 star service at the Rossiter hotel, it feels just like home 💙
Which 4 team mates would you pick in your 5-a-side team?
It would have to be Ellie, Peskett, Paige P and Blue 💪🏽
Which team mate has the dirtiest boots?
I’m sorry but it has to be Captain Mands
Which team mate would win in a Crossbar Challenge?
Paige Peake of course 🙌🏽
Which team mate is the biggest prankster?
I have to go with a duo I can’t decide between them both Eloise and Anna !!
Which team mate has the best skills?
Tough one as there’s so much talent in our side if I had to name someone I’d say Peskett.
Not the end of the season we wanted, does it motivate the team to go on and put it right next season?
No it definitely wasn’t for anyone involved at all but it’s happened and we have to now focus on next season and make sure we secure the league and keep our foot on the gas to get us to where we deserve to be!
How have you kept yourself occupied during lockdown?
I’ve been very occupied with my healthier life style working out and trying to keep up with fitness as much as I can, until we can get back to it and get minutes under our belts because that’s really where you’ll know where we are with match fitness ! I’ve also been lucky enough to be able to still go to work and have now been taken back which is great to get track into the swing of things especially when footballs back I can make sure I’m balancing my work life, football life and working out!. (Go check out Natasha’s Instagram page @NVT_Lifestyle to keep up to date with her!)
You won Player Of The Season and Goal Of The Season, how did you feel taking both awards?
It means a lot to me I’ve been with the club 5 years now so this will be my 6th season and the fans have made a massive impact to our game.. they are a credit to the club and I’d like to say thank you for all the support they give, not just to me, but my team mates and club! Goal of the season is the icing on the cake really being a forward player who would want to get goal of the season 💪🏽💙
Do you have a favourite or stand out goal from last season?
My favourite has to be my goal of the year I mean I just looked up and knew the Keeper wasn’t on her line so I just went for it and to score against a team in a league above you with the goal that I did will certainly stick with me!
The system we play only has 1 striker and Maddie Biggs has impressed when she’s played. Do you feel pressure from having strong competition for that position?
There’s always pressure where ever you play from being a forward player to being a defender. That is the thing with this club there is an outstanding amount of talent and that’s only going to get better when there is healthy competition for places. It just means we’re all going to be working even hard to make sure we all secure our spots and not only that I want what’s best for the team as well as myself and we have to be realistic we can’t just have one striker god for bid any injuries. Maddie Biggs is such an amazing young player and I’m glad she’s here at Ipswich town because this girl has a bright future alongside many other players in our squad!
We have seen you and Maddie play together once or twice, Huddersfield being one example, do you feel there’s a strong partnership there when you play together?
As you’ve said, we haven’t played alongside each other many times last season it’s always a great feeling being a Striker and having a partner next to you as you thrive off each other and being on the same wave length makes us even more dangerous as a duo! being in Joe’s side, we have got such a talented squad he will always go with the best formations for the games and best team on the day to get the job done.
You were approached last season by a team from a higher league, was it an easy decision to stay?
Yes it was, where I am in my footballing career and where I want to be is entirely here at Ipswich Town Football Club. At the time and to this day I am 100% still happy with the decision I have made. This club is absolutely going places and I want to be a big part of achieving that so I’m sticking where I am and I’m working hard for my place and for this club to get where we should be.
Does being approached by clubs in a higher league turn your head a bit?
I wouldn’t say turn my head but I feel it gives me an in-site of where I am and how other players and teams see what I can do. Who wouldn’t like higher clubs approaching them but at this moment in time as I’ve previously said I am happy where I am.
The current squad has some young players in it. As one of the senior players in the team, do you get asked to mentor some of the youngsters when they move up to the first team?
I wouldn’t say mentor the girls, yes they’re young but they can be mature when needs be. The girls know what Joe requires from them and there are standards that we have at this club and all the girls know this. We have a very professional set up and all the girls do this club proud. I’m here for every single one of the players wether they have just stepped up from the under 21’s or they are senior players. We are one club and everyone has the same rights and opportunities to wear this badge with pride for the first team when they are called upon.
The club obviously relies on income to keep running, how important are player and kit sponsors to this?
It’s so important to us girls, we will put the show on for you all we will get your names out there for sure.. as a club sponsorships mean a lot to us all and will help players and staff be at there best and able to commit to travelling. It enables us to be more committed to the team with the help and support of some amazing businesses.
The Terrace sponsored you last season and you seemed to develop a really good relationship with them?
Yes they are an amazing sponsor and I’m so great-full They chose to sponsor myself as a player I just hope I’ve made them proud and I hope to get there name out there even more next season.
The Terrace are a really well known company in football, it’s good to see that women’s football at this level can attract such sponsorships?
Yes it certainly is The Terrace are a very level minded company they see all as equals and they have brought me into there very close family unit and I’ll be forever greatfull for all the support on and off the pitch! Yes it’s amazing that women’s teams are getting such big sponsors now and that is certainly deserved… all I can say is hard work really does pay off!
With the relationship you have developed with The Terrace, have they spoken about continuing into next season?
Yes we have, they have contacted myself to say they would love to sponsor me again for next season and not only that they have got me my new set of wheels for next season. They truly are an amazing company and an amazing group of people. I’m am very lucky to have them as my sponsor!
The fan base for the club last season had a real boost, developed a supporters group and even an away travel group, this must be encouraging to see from a players perspective?
Yes it certainly is always helps when we are the away team yet all you can hear is our supports. As a club we are very lucky to have them and for them to be travelling to watch us play from the other side of London in some cases is remarkable. Seeing fans wanting to travel and spending their hard earned cash to come and support us fills all of us player and staff with so much pride.
Finally, we’re all eagerly waiting to see you all back on the pitch. Obviously promotion is the goal for the club, do you have any personal targets for yourself for next season?
I cannot wait to get back to it !! The main goal is to win the league and anything else would be a massive bonus to us ! Personally I want to keep racking up the goal tally and do myself, the club and supporters proud !.
Massive thanks to Natasha for her time to conduct this interview!.