Leicester City defender, Ashleigh Plumptre has reflected on her experience with the Super Falcons of Nigeria ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
For the first time in her football career, Ashleigh Plumptre who used to represent England’s youth team represented the Super Falcons in the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco.
In an interview with LCTV on Monday as part of her 25th birthday celebration, Ashleigh Plumptre said that being a part of the Women’s AFCON was a tremendous delight to her family.
Plumptre’s paternal grandfather is Yoruba from Lagos, which makes her eligible to represent Nigeria at the senior level. The 25-year-old expressed interest in representing Nigeria at the senior level in 2021 after playing 30 times for England at the junior level.
She then made her senior Nigeria debut in February 2022, starting in a 2-0 victory against Ivory Coast during WAFCON qualifiers in 2022, and featured in the tournament proper for the Super Falcons.
Ashleigh Plumptre who could represent Nigeria at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 if she is fit, told Leicester City TV’s YouTube channel that she enjoyed her time at the 2022 WAFCON even though Nigeria crashed out in the Semi-finals.
She explained, ”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 duty as a professional. And I enjoyed the experience of playing in that tournament (WAFCON).
“We went down to nine players in the game (versus Morocco), had to hold off for the extra 30 minutes before the shootout.”
She added, “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 cheering the team on.
“We’ve looked to play big teams this year in preparation for the World Cup, like Canada, the US, and Japan, and we’ve competed with all of them.”
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