Ashleigh Plumptre is a professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Leicester City in the FA Women’s Super League. She debuted for Nigeria when she was listed as part of the Women’s National Team, Super Falcons, in February 2022.
Early life and education
Ashleigh Plumptre was born on May 8, 1998, to English parents in Leicester city. Her parents are English, but she shares some Nigerian heritage as her paternal grandfather is Nigerian.
She is the first of two children. The footballer started playing football at the tender age of 4 with Asfordby Amateurs.
She had a university education at the University of Southern California (USC), where she studied human biology.
At eight, Ashleigh Plumptre began her professional football career when she joined the Leicester City youth system. She spent seven years with the club playing from under-10 to under-15 level.
In 2013, she left Leicester to join Birmingham City’s under-17 team, where she also trained with the senior WSL 1 team. Plumptre joined Derby County’s Centre of Excellence briefly in the third-tier FA Women’s Premier League in 2014.
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Ashleigh Plumptre joined Notts County in the WSL 1 in 2014. In a 1–0 loss to Liverpool on August 24, 2014, she made her senior debut as a 57th-minute substitute for Caitlin Friend. At 16 years, 108 days later, she became the youngest debutant in Notts County history. On September 3, she made her debut start in a 1–1 WSL 1 match with Manchester City. Four days later, she came on as a late substitute in a League Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal in extra time.
She moved to the United States in 2016 to play for the University of Southern California. She appeared 17 times as a substitute midfielder for the USC Trojans as a freshman, including in every round of the NCAA postseason. She played 27 minutes in the College Cup final as USC defeated West Virginia 3–1 to win the program’s second National Championship.
She became a starter as a junior in 2018, starting 19 of 20 games after having two starts as a sophomore in another 17 appearances. Plumptre switched to centre-back for the 2019 season, starting all 23 of USC’s games, including a postseason run to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. In 2019, she was named to the All-Pacific first team and the All-Pac-12 second team for her efforts.
Ashleigh Plumptre, who majored in human biology, was named on the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in 2017 and 2018. She was also named in the second team of the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2018 and the second team of the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America team in 2019. After graduating from college, she returned to Leicester City, where she began her football career.
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The Foxes beat out other prominent Women’s clubs to secure the defender’s signature. Plumptre debuted for Leicester City in 2020, assisting in a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
After seeing the likes of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, the Leicester City defender publicly expressed her desire to play for Nigeria in 2021.
In the same year, she was invited to play for Super Falcons in an unofficial match against Olimpija Ljubljana, which they won 1-0.
Since then, she has been attending female team camps before being cleared to play for the Nigerian national team.
Ashleigh Plumptre made her official debut on February 18, 2022, starting in a 2–0 win against Ivory Coast in the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualification.
Ashleigh Plumptre family
The footballer was born to a half Nigerian father and an English mother. Her grandfather from her dad’s side is a Nigerian from Lagos state. He is of Yoruba descent. Her younger sister Bayleigh Bisi Plumptre is a drummer.
The talented footballer has a net worth of $1.5 million. Her net worth is from her appearances as a football player.
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Ashleigh Plumptre Nationality
Ashleigh is of Nigerian and English descent as her grandfather is Yoruba from Lagos State, Nigeria.
Speaking on Channels TV, she stated why she chose to play for Nigeria. She stated that her purpose in football has changed as she has grown and that her reason for playing the sport has changed as well.
The footballer also stated in the interview that
“As much as I love playing football, I like to play for a purpose and a reason. I know the impact I can have by delving into my heritage more and representing the people I am always familiar with”.
In addition, she also stated that asides from her passion for football, it is also about what she can bring as a person. And that she is a very jovial and free-spirited person, but when she is on the field, she brings out her physical side. She referred to her physical side as her “Nigerian side”.
From the junior system to a regular player, Ashleigh Plumptre has established herself as a significant name in women’s football.
The defender had to go through a lot to establish herself as a footballer, which wasn’t easy given the influx of English players.
Ashleigh Plumptre has proven to be a future talent as her career progresses, with other clubs interested in signing her.
She is a source of encouragement to talents who are seeking to know more about their roots and origins and hopefully do great exploits for their countries. She is not the only sportsman who is keen on knowing her history.
Anthony Joshua has openly come out to support his country Nigeria in so many ways.
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