Leicester defender included in Nigeria squad

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A Leicester City defender has received her first Super Falcons call-up.

Former England youth player Ashleigh Plumptre has been included in the Nigeria women’s team as the African champions start a camp in Austria as part of their preparation for a six-nation tournament later this year.

The Leicester City defender has been capped 30 times by England at youth level, but qualifies for Nigeria through the grandparent rule.

Former national team captain Desire Oparanozi has been recalled after being overlooked for almost two years due to a sit-in protest over unpaid bonuses and allowances at the 2019 Fifa World Cup in France.

Sisters Josephine and Evelyn Ijeh of BK Hacken have also earned maiden call-ups and are part of the 26-players list.

The pair are daughters of Peter Ijeh who scored 24 goals for Malmo to emerge as top scorer in the 2002/03 Allsvenskan season while captain Asisat Oshoala has been excused after a demanding season with FC Barcelona.

Nigeria arrived in Vienna for an eight day camp as part of intense preparations for some upcoming challenges, most notably the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament.

Lagos will host the six-nation tournament that will see the hosts Nigeria, Ghana’s Black Queens, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses, Banyana Banyana of South Africa, Morocco and Mali battle for supremacy in September.

Full squad

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).

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By FARPost reporter