Super Falcons defender Ashleigh Plumptre has disclosed the reason behind her absence from the national team following growing concerns among fans in the country.
Plumptre last played for the Super Falcons at the Women’s World Cup, which took place in Australia and New Zealand.
Plumptre appeared in all four of the Falcons’ World Cup games and was recognized as one of the tournament’s standout performers.
Following the end of her contract with Leicester City, a number of clubs vied for her services due to her outstanding performance in the World Cup.
The 25-year-old joined Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, and despite her promising start in the Middle East, the defender has been absent from the Falcons team, missing all three post-World Cup games.
Plumptre’s absence has alarmed her fans, and the defender stated in an interview with Nigeria Football that it was a personal decision.
“I guess it has been a break. I haven’t been able to go to the upcoming camp; like I said, it’s more of a personal decision while I take care of my body,” she told Nigeria Football.
“But ultimately, I want to be fun with the team. It’s a privilege. And I want to be in the best physical condition to be able to go and compete in important games.
“And I feel like right now, I have complete trust and faith in the team. I will be watching the game while I am here, but I want to get to a point where I can compete maximally and provide as much as I can to the team in the best condition.”
Speaking on her future with the Falcons, Plumptre said she hoped to return to the squad.
“It’s like the first or second time, or they haven’t had much experience with the senior team,” Plumptre said.
“Hopefully, give them a chance as well. And as can be seen, at the top level, I think that’s really important. So, yeah, I’ll be supporting the girls from afar.”
Plumptre has made an immediate impact in the Middle East, scoring a hat-trick on her competitive debut for Al-Ittihad and winning the Player of the Month title for October.