People don’t take us seriously - Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre [Photo: IMAGO / Sulaiman Pooja]

FIFA WWC People don’t take us seriously - Plumptre

Jidechi Chidiezie 23:58 - 24.01.2023

Nigeria’s Super Falcons have never missed out on any edition of the World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals in 1999 – the team’s best outing to date.

Super Falcons defender Ashleigh Plumptre has said that the team is not bothered ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup that they are being underrated.

Nigeria will make its ninth appearance at the tournament in July - making the nine-time African champions a joint-appearance record holder at the Women's World Cup along with the United States, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Brazil and Japan.

The competition scheduled to start on July 20 with 32 teams, and run through August 20, will be the first to feature the expanded format of 32 teams, as well as the first to have more than one host nation.

The FIFA Women's World Cup will hold in Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and August 20, 2023

Plumptre says Super Falcons unbothered

Having been drawn in Group B of the 2023 competition, the Super Falcons will square off against co-hosts Australia, the Republic of Ireland and Canada, teams the Leicester City defender classified as 'tough'.

She, however, revealed that the record African champions were not bothered about what was being thought about them. “I think our group for the World Cup is very tough,” Plumptre said in an exclusive with Vanguard.

“I feel like AFCON was a good preparation for the World Cup, and we played in front of 45,000 people against Morocco. We went down to nine players, but we still felt like we could win. Having that experience will help us as a team against Australia.

“We already played Canada twice this year, and we drew with them in the second game, so we have more pressure on them.

Ashleigh Plumptre

“Ireland is similar to ours. It’s their first time, but I will say they have a fight about them, and I feel the game will be very good because we are similar and we have a really great chance.

"People don’t take us seriously as we are not expected to beat Australia or Canada but, we are not bothered; we focus on ourselves. We just want to prepare, and when the time comes, we will be ready. The journey will not start in July; it starts now.”

Nigeria to launch campaign July 21

The Super Falcons will be domiciled in Brisbane where they will play two of their three matches, with the other game in another Australian city, Melbourne.

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Nigeria play its first game on July 21 against Olympic champions Canada, at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons have never missed out on any edition of the World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals in 1999 – the team’s best outing to date.

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