Nigeria Defender Plumptre Signs for Saudi Women’s Side Al-Ittihad

Ashleigh Plumptre of Nigeria looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Getty Images)
Ashleigh Plumptre of Nigeria looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Getty Images)
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Nigeria Defender Plumptre Signs for Saudi Women’s Side Al-Ittihad

Ashleigh Plumptre of Nigeria looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Getty Images)
Ashleigh Plumptre of Nigeria looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Getty Images)

Nigeria defender Ashleigh Plumptre said she has joined Saudi Women's Premier League side Al-Ittihad following the expiry of her contract at Leicester City.

The 25-year-old centre back has 15 caps for Nigeria. She played for England at youth level before switching allegiance and making her Nigeria debut in 2022.

"Grateful to have signed for Al-Ittihad," Plumptre said on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter. "Excited to start this journey alongside some incredible human beings.

"My journey of stepping into more of myself continues... It's more than football."

The Saudi women's top flight is gearing up for its second season, with eight teams vying for the title.



Brazil Coach Dorival Junior Aims for Consistency to Achieve Copa America Success 

Brazil's coach Dorival Junior speaks during a press conference ahead of the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament group D football match between Brazil and Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on June 23, 2024. (AFP)
Brazil's coach Dorival Junior speaks during a press conference ahead of the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament group D football match between Brazil and Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on June 23, 2024. (AFP)
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Brazil Coach Dorival Junior Aims for Consistency to Achieve Copa America Success 

Brazil's coach Dorival Junior speaks during a press conference ahead of the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament group D football match between Brazil and Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on June 23, 2024. (AFP)
Brazil's coach Dorival Junior speaks during a press conference ahead of the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament group D football match between Brazil and Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on June 23, 2024. (AFP)

Brazil coach Dorival Junior has identified balance and consistency as the keys to success ahead of Monday's Copa America opener against Costa Rica.

Dorival, who took over in January and has only coached four games, admitted that the Brazilian squad still lacked on-field stability, which he said was natural given their short time together.

"I have to find a balance for a team that was put together only three months ago, and after a certain period of 15 or 20 days of work they have to find themselves again," he said at a press conference on Sunday.

"In football you don't skip preparation phases in training, but that's why we try to accelerate each one of them to have a consistent and confident squad that can then use the individuality of its players to create opportunities."

The coach announced a starting line-up that included two new faces, Real Madrid center back Eder Militao and Atletico Mineiro full back Guilherme Arana.

"The starting line-up will have Militao and Arana. In every game, if necessary, there will be one or two changes. All the players are ready. None of them are below our expectations. We are prepared for any situation," the coach added.

New Real Madrid signing Endrick will not start against Costa Rica and is expected to come on in the second half, as Dorival called for "a bit of patience" with the 17-year-old striker.

"It's something that will happen naturally. It might not take long because he is extremely skillful. I'm in a hurry to get him on the pitch, but you have to have a certain balance. He has excellent skills and is one of the most promising players."

Brazil will also face Colombia and Paraguay in Group D.