“Playing For Nigeria Big Deal For Me And My Family”: Super Falcons Defender Speaks

0
1000

Super Falcons and England’s Leicester City Women’s defender, Ashleigh Plumptre has expressed her feelings on playing for the Super Falcons, as a big deal for herself and her family, since making her senior international debut in February 2022.

The 25-year-old, who was born on the 8th of May 1998, in Leicester, UK grew up and attended primary school in the city of Melton Mowbray, but opted to play for Nigeria based on her affiliation from her paternal side.

Plumptre’s grandfather was born in Nigeria, while her grandmother is British. But the UK-born Nigerian pledged allegiance to the African nation, to “get closer to my roots, and know my heritage” as she was quoted while on LCTV, Leicester’s TV platform.

The opportunity came to represent her country on the grand stage in the 2022 African Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco midyear, with Ashleigh playing a critical part at the heart of the Falcon’s defense. She then relayed her feelings to James, a host on Leicester City TV’s YouTube channel.

“Yeah, it was my first major tournament as a senior (Nigerian) player, and it was a big deal for me and my family. It was something I had my eyes set on when I first joined Nigeria.

“And I was away (from club duties) for five weeks… We were in Nigeria for a week, then in Morocco for a month.

“It was the longest time I’ve been away for international duties as a professional. And I enjoyed the experience of playing in that tournament (AWCON).

“We went down to nine players in the game, had to hold off for the extra 30 minutes, before the shootout,” she said while speaking to Host James on LCTV.

She also lauded Morocco for the tournament’s organization and also the host nation’s team’s performance.

“Morocco did a huge job in organizing the tournament, and even when we played them in the semi-finals, it was a competitive experience, although we lost on penalties.

“But I think it was one of the loudest stadiums I’ve been in, about 45 thousand fans jeering the team on.

“We’ve looked to play big teams this year in preparations for the world cup, like Canada, US, and Japan, and we’ve competed with all of them.

After 19 MatchDays in the Women’s Super League, Leicester City are in 11th position, just two points off Reading Women who are ranked bottom on the log (12th), with three games to spare in a 22-game season. As Ashleigh hopes to help her team remain in the top tier.

For the Falcons, Ashleigh has her sights set on global glory when the FIFA Women’s World Cup for 2023 kickoffs in Australia and New Zealand.