Ashleigh Plumptre a former England’s youth defender says she would grab the opportunity to represent Nigeria at senior international level if she is given the chance.
The 23-years-old, who plays for newly-promoted Women’s Super League (WSL) side Leicester City, is eligible to play for the Super Falcons because of her father’s Nigerian heritage.
Having helped guide the Foxes to the FA Women’s Championship title in 2020/21, Plumptre was voted player of the season and rewarded with a new two-year deal.
And, despite 30 England caps at youth level, Plumptre says she would like to play for Nigeria.
“The idea of me being able to play for Nigeria, with that being an option, I would happily grab that with both hands,” she told BBC Sport Africa.
“What representing something that really means to somebody is very important. Obviously, there’s a lot of things I can openly say that I don’t know about Nigerian culture but I want to learn because I know that it’s in me, and it’s in my sister and in my dad.
“We can only get it from my granddad, he’s the only thing that we know in terms of Nigeria. I’ve obviously visited Nigerian relatives in America and in England.
“Seeing this little journey my sister and I have been on, and the understanding of our family heritage, not just that but watching Nigerian documentaries and learning about the past is incredible.”
Understanding her heritage
Ashleigh Plumptre in action for Leicester City Women
Life-long Foxes fan Plumptre played 25 games this season for the club she first joined as an eight-year-old and previously played in the WSL with Notts County in 2014, before moving to the United States.
Stints stateside with US college side USC Trojans and LA Galaxy followed, before she returned from studying in January 2020 to play a key role in a memorable season for the Foxes.
Credit : BBC Africa