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Ashleigh Plumptre reveals she never dreamt of FIFA World Cup participation

Super Falcons defender Ashleigh Plumptre has revealed there was a time in her career she never dreamt of playing at the FIFA Women’s World cup.

Plumptre and the Super Falcons secured qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup via the 2022 WAFCON in Morroco .

Born in England to a Nigerian father , Plumptre told BBC Sport Africa of how she never thought of playing at the World Cup, the process of switching allegiance from England to Nigeria and the nervous feeling when she first reported at the Super Falcons camp .

Plumptre said “It still hasn’t really sunk in about the World Cup,”

“I never thought I would play in a World Cup, whether it was with England or Nigeria. I never thought it would be a thing.

“I remember watching the England Under-20s at the World Cup when I was about that age. I wasn’t thinking that would be me one day, and here we are. Crazy!”

“I always have to do something for a purpose,” the 24-year-old Leicester City defender added.

“I’m somebody who is a bit different in football because I don’t just play to play it. I have to do it for a reason.

“When we won the league with Leicester, I sat down with my dad and said ‘This is something I want to do’. It was actually my dad, who is my agent, who got in contact with Randy (Super Falcons head coach ). ”

On joining the Super Falcons camp for the first time, Plumptre said “I was super, super nervous for the first camp because I had no idea what to expect,”

“There’s not been anyone on the team that’s like me, in terms of being from England and looking how I do.

“I didn’t know how some of the team would take me, but everybody was really, really welcoming. Especially after my initiation. Obviously, dancing and singing are a big part of the culture, and I had to throw myself into it even though I was dreadful.”

“When we enter into a stadium, we are always singing, dancing and that really helps with relieving the pressure a little bit,”

The singing and dancing to the stadium for games Plumptre reasoned will be a strange introduction in England.

She said “I don’t feel like at Leicester they would be open to that.

“In England, people are generally a bit more like, ‘Oh I’m not good, oh it’s new.’ I can try, but I can’t imagine how many people will join in.” Plumptre concluded.

Plumptre was part of the Super Falcons squad that finished fourth at the 2022 Women’s African Cup of Nations. The Nine time African Champions secured one of four automatic slots to the World Cup at the tournament.


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