Ashleigh Plumptre

Foxes Trio Head Off On International Duty

Three LCFC Women stars are featuring in training camps and competitive matches for their respective countries this summer.

- Ashleigh Plumptre is part of the Nigeria squad for the African Women’s Cup of Nations
- The Super Falcons have been drawn in Group C alongside South Africa, Botswana and Burundi
- Sophie Howard could feature for Scotland in their latest FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier
- They play Ukraine in Poland in a 7:15pm kick-off on Friday evening

Defender Ashleigh Plumptre joined up with the Nigeria’s Senior Women’s National Team squad on Wednesday as the Super Falcons began preparations for the 2022 African Women’s Cup of Nations, which kicks off in Morocco across July.

Played between 2-23 July, the competition also serves as a qualification process for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the top four teams qualifying for the flagship tournament, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Nigeria are three-time defending champions, having most recently won the competition consecutively in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Drawn in Group C, the holders’ first fixture is against South Africa at Stade Prince Moulay EL Hassan in Rabat on Monday 4 July (9pm kick-off).

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Ashleigh Plumptre
Ashleigh Plumptre

Inside training in Morocco ahead of the tournament beginning in July.

The current African champions will then meet Botswana three days later in another 9pm kick-off at the same venue, before concluding the group stage by playing Burundi in Rabat on Sunday 10 July.

The top two sides will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals, while the two best third-placed teams will also join the last-eight stage.

Plumptre’s Nigeria debut helped earn qualification for the tournament and with a total of four caps to her name, which also included back-to-back fixtures against Canada earlier this year, the centre-back will be hoping to add to her tally of senior international appearances next month.

Elsewhere, Sophie Howard is in the Scotland Senior National Team squad to face Ukraine in tonight’s (Friday’s) 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Stadion Miejski w Rzeszowie (7:15pm kick-off).

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Sophie Howard
Sophie Howard

Sophie Howard is in contention to line up for Scotland once again on Friday night.

The 28-year-old is part of a 23-player squad who have been preparing for the fixture with a training camp in Edinburgh, ahead of flying out to Poland on Thursday.

Pedro Martinez Losa’s side currently sit second in Group B with two games to go, on 10 points, eight behind leaders Spain but one in front of Hungary.

Hannah Cain, meanwhile, joined up with Wales earlier this week for a two-day Development Camp as she continues her recovery from an ACL injury. The attacker, who has been out of action since November 2021, made her senior international debut for the Red Dragons a month earlier, as a substitute in a home win over Estonia.

All times BST.

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