Home Profile in Excellence Ashleigh Plumptre Biography and Profile

Ashleigh Plumptre Biography and Profile




Ashleigh Megan Plumptre (born 8 May 1998) is a professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Saudi Premier League club Al-Ittihad and the Nigeria women’s national team. Formerly an England youth international, she made her senior Nigeria debut in February 2022.

Club career

Youth career

Born in Leicester, Plumptre grew up and attended primary school in Melton Mowbray. She began playing football at age 4 when she joined Asfordby Amateurs. At age 8, she joined the Leicester City Centre of Excellence, spending seven years with the club playing from under-10 to under-15 level. She left Leicester to join Birmingham City‘s under-17 team in 2013 where she also had the opportunity to train with the senior WSL 1 team. In 2014, Plumptre briefly joined third-tier FA Women’s Premier League side Derby County‘s Centre of Excellence.

PUNCH Diaspora: British-born Ashleigh Plumptre open to playing for ...Notts County

Plumptre joined WSL 1 side Notts County in 2014. She made her senior debut on 24 August 2014, as a 57th minute substitute for Caitlin Friend in a 1–0 defeat to Liverpool. In doing so she became the youngest Notts County debutant at 16 years 108 days. She made her first start in a 1–1 WSL 1 draw with Manchester City on 3 September. Four days later she appeared as a substitute at the start of extra-time during a League Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal.

On 1 August 2015, Plumptre was an unused substitute for the 2015 FA Women’s Cup final, the first to be played at Wembley Stadium. She scored her first and only goal for Notts County on 30 August 2015 in a 5–0 League Cup group stage victory at home to second-tier Yeovil Town. Notts County also reached the League Cup final in 2015, losing to Arsenal 3–0 with Plumptre an unused substitute for the second consecutive cup final.

USC Trojans

In 2016, Plumptre moved to the United States to play college soccer at the University of Southern California. As a freshman she made 17 substitute appearances as a midfielder for the USC Trojans including in every round of the NCAA postseason. She played 27 minutes of the College Cup final as USC beat West Virginia 3–1 to claim the second national championship in program history. She scored her first collegiate goal on 22 October 2017, the game winner in a 2–1 victory over Washington State. After only two starts in another 17 appearances as a sophomore, she became a starter as a junior in 2018, starting in 19 of 20 appearances. In 2019, Plumptre transitioned to playing centre-back and started all 23 of USC’s games during the season that included a postseason run to the NCAA Tournament quarter-finals. Her performances were recognised individually with All-Pacific first team and All-Pac-12 second team honours in 2019. Majoring in human biology, Plumptre’s academic success earned her Pac-12 academic recognition in 2017 and 2018. She was also named to the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-District second team and 2019 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America second team.

LA Galaxy OC

In March 2019, Plumptre signed to play in the UWS with LA Galaxy OC during the college offseason. The team finished second in the West Conference behind Calgary Foothills during the regular season before winning the Championship final against the same opposition.

Leicester City

In December 2019, Plumptre elected to forgo the 2020 NWSL College Draft coming out of college despite projecting as a late-first round or early-second round pick and instead returned to England, rejoining hometown club Leicester City in the FA Women’s Championship. The Foxes had reportedly also beaten FA WSL competition to her signature. She made her senior Leicester City debut on 19 January 2020, registering an assist on an Ella Rutherford goal in a 3–1 win over Crystal Palace. Plumptre’s debut season with Leicester was limited to three league appearances as the season was curtailed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Leicester were awarded sixth-place on a points-per-game basis.

Why I chose to represent Nigeria over England - Ashleigh Plumptre ...Ahead of the 2020–21 season, Leicester City Women were taken over by King Power having previously been an independent club with a formal affiliation to the Foxes. The club became fully professional for the first time in the process.[24] On 4 April 2021, Leicester City clinched the league title with a 2–0 win over London City Lionesses, their twelfth consecutive league victory dating back to 4–1 defeat at the hands of the same opposition on 1 November 2020. The result earned Leicester their first ever promotion to the top-flight FA WSL. Despite a significant summer recruitment drive to attract WSL talent in the team’s bid for promotion, Plumptre remained a key figure and played in all but one game during the title win as well as all four League Cup games as Leicester reached the knockout stage for the first time before defeat in the semi-finals.

Plumptre left Leicester City following the expiration of her contract in July 2023.

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