Ashleigh Plumptre helped Leicester City win the FA Women’s Championship to earn promotion to the Super League
Former England youth player Ashleigh Plumptre has received her first call-up to the Nigeria women’s team as the Super Falcons land in Austria in preparation for a six-nation tournament.
The Leicester City women’s defender, 23, has been capped 30 times by England at youth level but qualifies for Nigeria through the grandparent rule.
Former captain Desire Oparanozie is recalled after being overlooked by the African Champions following a sit-in protest over unpaid bonuses and allowances at the 2019 World Cup in France.
Swedish-born sisters Josephine and Evelyn Ijeh of BK Hacken also earned maiden call-ups and named in the 26-players list.
The pair are daughters of Peter Ijeh who scored 24 goals for Malmo to emerge as top scorer in the 2002 Swedish top flight, while captain Asisat Oshoala has been excused.
The nine-time continental champions arrived in the Austrian capital, Vienna for an 8-day training camp as part of intense preparations for some upcoming challenges, most notably the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament, according to a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
The City of Lagos will host the six-nation invitational that will see the hosts Super Falcons, Ghana’s Black Queens, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses, Banyana Banyana of South Africa, Morocco and Mali battle for supremacy in September.
The camp in Austria is the third gathering that the NFF has arranged for the Super Falcons this year, following an interesting three-wins-out-three account at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya in February and the Summer Series in the USA in June.
Nigeria is one of only seven countries that have participated at every edition of the Women’s World Cup finals since the competition was launched in 1991, and has also featured in three Olympic Games.
Nigeria squad in Austria:
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (CD Pozoalbense, Spain); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Patience Okeke (Bayelsa Queens); Yewande Balogun (California Storm, USA)
Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Osinachi Ohale and Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Onyinyechi Zogg (FC Zurich, Switzerland); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash Reserves, USA); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Josephine Ijeh (BK Hacken, Sweden)
Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna United, Sweden); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Mowaninuola Dada (Watford FC, England)
Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Francisca Ordega (Levante UD, Spain); Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens); Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens); Uchenna Kanu (Linkopings FC, Sweden); Ebere Orji (Sundsvall DFF, Sweden); Ini-Abasi Umotong (Lewes FC, England); Evelyn Ijeh (BK Hacken, Sweden); Desire Oparanozie (FC Dijon, France)