“I love jollof rice, moi-moi and King Sunny Ade’s music” – Plumtre, Nigerian-born England defender who wants to play for Super Falcons
Ashleigh Plumptre has never been to her native Nigeria but the former England youth international is so close to her roots that she’s interested in playing for its national team.
Plumptre is eligible to play for Nigeria, Africa’s most successful women’s 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 in an interview.
The 23-year old is also inspired by the national team captain Asisat Oshoala and would cherish the opportunity to line up alongside the FC Barcelona forward.
“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.
“That was the big name and then she obviously went to Arsenal. And everybody knew of her and how talented she was. For me an an English person, she was Nigerian football to me.”
Though she’s in touch with her relatives in America and England, Plumptre has been immersed in the culture, food and music of her father’s ancestral home.
“I listen to a lot of (Nigerian) music but my favourite genre is classic 90s R&Bs, the stuff my dad grew up listening to are what I listen to now,” she explained.
“But with regards to Nigerian songs I like, I will go with veteran and legendary musician King Sunny Ade because I’ve heard some of his records.
“I really enjoy the Nigerian Jollof rice, fish stew but my favourite meal is moi-moi [steamed and flavoured cakes of ground beans].”
Plumptre had 30 caps for England at youth level and, after a stint in America, helped guide Leicester City 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.
Aside Oshoala, 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.
“With Leicester Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Ihenacho have been a good roles model 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.