Ashleigh Plumptre, a Super Falcons defender, expressed her pride in representing Nigeria, her father’s homeland, over her birthplace, England. She feels a deep sense of gratitude for the chance to truly understand her Nigerian roots.
At 25, Plumptre had once played for England’s U-23 team but opted to change her footballing allegiance to Nigeria in 2022, a move FIFA approved.
She marked her debut for Nigeria with a victory against Ivory Coast’s Lady Elephants, ensuring their qualification for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. Since then, she’s become an essential figure in the Falcons’ lineup, boasting 15 caps.
Currently participating in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Plumptre has been pivotal in Nigeria’s defense. They held three clean sheets under her leadership, making it to the round of 16. They eventually bowed out to England in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout following a goalless draw.
On Twitter, she shared her elation in wearing the Falcons’ colors, emphasizing her journey into understanding her Nigerian heritage and praising the unity and determination of her team.
While she dominated as a forward in her youth, Plumptre showcased her prowess in the 2015 UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship, netting twice in a decisive 9-0 triumph over Moldova. By 2016, she was the youngest player in the U-23 team for the La Manga Tournament, with a youth career record of 30 matches and 10 goals.