The Super Falcons of Nigeria defender, Ashleigh Plumptre, said she is exactly where she is meant to be after playing against her country of birth, England.
On Monday, August 7, 2023, Ashleigh Plumptre had the opportunity to face England at the biggest stage of her career, the round of 16 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Unfortunately for her, England beat the Super Falcons 4-2 via penalties after a thrilling 120 minutes of football in which the Nigerian team dominated in most parts of the game.
After the game, Plumptre, who represented England at youth level but wasn’t considered for the senior team before she switched allegiance to Nigeria, said she didn’t go into the round of 16 with any vendetta against the British country.
She said, “In the build-up to the game, I think I was feeling really excited and really nervous, for me, it was just a special moment, it wasn’t necessarily more pressure.
“I was never going into the game with some vendetta against England, I appreciated the experiences I had when I was there growing up. But now I can say I am exactly where I am meant to be, and I will remember this match for the experience to play alongside these players.”
On the performance of the Super Falcons against England, Ashleigh Plumptre stressed that the 40th-ranked team used the game to make a statement in the world stage.
“I think everybody counted us out against England. And I’m telling you, after this game, I’m tired of people just saying that African teams are just strong, and they’re just fast, and count us out as being technical or tactical”, she said.
“We just pushed England to the very end. And I actually think that we had better chances than them. We made a statement here. We won’t be forgotten for what we’ve done, and this will just be the foundation moving forward. Now we have expectations to get out of the group all the time. To push these teams all the time. We just need to keep believing in ourselves and get the backing we deserve, and I think we can go a long way.”