With over 30 caps for England at youth level and a rising profile which means she has more than a great chance of being capped at full senior level for the Three Lionesses, Leicester City’s Ashleigh Plumptre would rather stake her international future with Nigeria’s Super Falcons because of her admiration for national team captain, Asisat Oshoala.
“When you look around there are several Nigerian players playing at the top level of the women’s game,” she pointed out in a BBC Africa interview.
“With the Super Falcons, I have been following them and the continued progress the team is making. But one player that I remember is Asisat Oshoala. She was at Liverpool when I played for Notts County, then I was about 16 and the big thing was having Oshoala over at Liverpool,” she said.
“That was the big name and then she obviously went to Arsenal. And everybody knew of her and how talented she was. For me as an English person, she was Nigerian football to me.” She added.
Other Nigerian stars like Super Eagles duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho at Leicester City have also been positive inspirations for Plumptre and she hopes to meet the two players soon, something that’s been impossible to do until now because of Covid-19 restrictions.
” Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho have been good role models for me. It’s funny we haven’t met but that’s all because of Covid but at some point hopefully we’ll be able to meet each other,” she explained.
Plumptre is eligible to play for Nigeria, Africa’s most successful women team with nine AWCON titles and eight World Cup appearances, through her Nigerian father.
“What it (representing Nigeria) will mean for me as somebody who is British born but with Nigerian heritage is huge. People look at me and they think I’m tanned and that I’ve been on holiday, they don’t think that I’m Nigerian,” she said.
Interestingly, the 23-year old helped guide the Foxes to the FA Women’s Championship title in 2020/21 and was voted player of the season with a reward of a new two-year contract.