- Nigeria's Super Falcons are gearing up for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and their defensive line is packed with talent and potential.
- Let's take a closer look at the defenders who will represent Nigeria and their contributions to the team.
Born on May 8, 1998, in Leicester, England, Ashleigh Plumptre is an exciting addition to the Super Falcons.
Although she was eligible to represent Nigeria through her paternal grandfather, Plumptre decided to join the Nigerian squad for the sake of experiencing her heritage.
Known for her elegant ball-playing style, she has become a fan favourite since making her debut in early 2022. Plumptre's versatility allows her to play as a centre-back, left-back, or centre-midfielder, making her a valuable asset to the team.
The moi-moi-loving defender did her bit to help Leicester City avoid relegation in the English Women's Super League. However, she recently announced that she was leaving the club when her contract expires this month.
Born on December 21, 1991, in Owerri, Nigeria, Ohale began her football journey as a winger before transitioning to a full-back and eventually settling into the center-back role. She brings a physical and resilient presence to the team, forming a strong partnership with fellow defender Ebi.
Ohale endured a difficult end to the just-concluded campaign as Deportivo Alavés suffered relegation from the Primera División Femenina.
But the Owerri-born defender will look to bank on her experience to help the Super Falcons reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1999.
Hailing from Aba, Glory Ogbonna stood out at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2016 and 2018.
Her impressive performances earned her a place in the Super Falcons, and she contributed to Nigeria's victory in the 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations.
With stints at clubs like Umeå IK, Santa Teresa, and ALG Spor, Ogbonna brings valuable international experience to the team. Currently playing for Beşiktaş, she will be looking to make a significant impact at the World Cup.
At just 19 years old, Rofiat Imuran is one of the youngest members of the Super Falcons. Her impressive performances at the 2022 U-20 World Cup earned her a call-up to the senior team.
Imuran's clean technique and excellent deliveries from the left-back position have already caught the attention of coach Randy Waldrum. Imuran's ambition to become the best in the world, combined with her strong mentality, promises a bright future for this talented defender.
Another promising young defender, Oluwatosin Demehin, earned her place in the senior team after impressing at the U-20 level.
Nigeria's defence, boasting a wealth of experience, will benefit from Demehin's speed and agility. The young defender's father provides unwavering support, offering encouragement before and after matches.
Demehin's seamless transition to the senior ranks has showcased her potential, and she will be eager to contribute to the team's success at the World Cup.
Michelle Alozie is a multifaceted talent both on and off the pitch. With a degree in molecular biology from Yale and a master's in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee, she brings a unique perspective to the game.
Playing as a forward at club level, Alozie showcases her versatility as a full-back for Nigeria.
Her call-up to the national team in 2021 was a dream come true, as she gets to play alongside the players she once admired. With her drive and ambition, Alozie is sure to make a notable impact at the World Cup.
As the team's longest-serving player, Onome Ebi has been an integral part of the Super Falcons since 2003.
Born and raised in the challenging environment of Ajegunle, Lagos, Ebi's resilience and determination have defined her career. With 107 international caps, she is set to make her sixth appearance at the World Cup, establishing an African record.
Ebi's leadership qualities and experience make her a crucial figure in the team, despite facing criticism from some quarters.