Published 25 November 2021 5 min read
Millie Bright

Bright's captaincy a proud moment for everyone who has helped her get this far

Written by:

Frank Smith

Millie Bright on being handed the England captaincy for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers with Austria in Sunderland and Latvia at Doncaster Rovers' Keepmoat Stadium

Millie Bright has stated captaining England is right at the top of her career achievements and a proud moment which will be celebrated by everyone who has helped her get this far in her career.

With long-time captain Steph Houghton still injured and her replacement for the last two international windows Leah Williamson also now sidelined, head coach Sarina Wiegman has given the captaincy to Chelsea vice-captain Bright for the November fixtures.

Bright has captained England once before, during April’s friendly defeat to Canada, and is set to do so once again for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers against Austria in Sunderland on Saturday and then at former club Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday when the Lionesses face Latvia.

She said: “I’m over the moon. It is a huge opportunity and responsibility that Sarina feels she can trust me with so I feel really honoured and grateful to be given that opportunity for this camp.

“Hopefully I can lead the girls out for two more successful games.”

She continued: “Captaining England is right at the top [of my career achievements]. No matter how many times you captain your country, how old you are, how many times you have played for your country, it will always be something which is so special each time. What it means to you never changes because not many people get this opportunity. 

See England in Sunderland

“It is a proud moment for you as an individual, for your family and for everyone who has contributed to your career. 

“It is something that all those people can look on and be so proud of and feel a sort of attachment with. It is because of those people who have got me to where I am today that I am able to be in this situation where I am captain for this camp.

“It is a huge honour and it is probably one of the biggest honours as a player that you can have. I am just over the moon and excited for it.”

The centre back was told the news by Wiegman earlier this week when the head coach pulled her aside to have a ‘chit-chat’, a phrase which Bright revealed the players have introduced to their new Dutch boss.

Bright acknowledged she was ‘stunned’ and ‘very humbled’ and confirmed she is only set to lead the side for this month’s fixtures, with Wiegman still considering who will captain the Lionesses full time moving forward.

Millie Bright with her England team-mates during training this week
Millie Bright with her England team-mates during training this week

Saturday’s trip to Sunderland will be special for Bright but Tuesday night’s clash with Latvia will have even more significance for the player, as the 28 year old returns to the club where she started her career.

Bright was born in Killamarsh, just half an hour from Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, and played for grassroots side Killamarsh Dynamos from the age of nine until 12, when she joined Sheffield United’s academy.

The Olympian moved to Doncaster Belles at the age of 16 and started her senior career playing at the Keepmoat before joining Chelsea five years later.

Bright said: “Getting the captaincy is extra special because one of the games is in Doncaster. We’re going back to where I played with Doncaster, back to where it all started and to have my Mum and Dad, my Gran and Grandad there - the people who were there from literally day one - back in the stadium where they once sat to watch me play for Donny, to now leading the girls out there and to have the chance to see them in what should be a good crowd, it will be a special moment and certainly one which will be very memorable. I am excited for me and my family.”

Tickets for the Austria game in Sunderland are available here and the Latvia match at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium here, with both priced at £15 for adults, £5 for concessions and £2.50 for under-16s.