Published 22 September 2021 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Bright: 'Rach is a hero to all of us'

Written by:

Frank Smith

Millie Bright and Sarina Wiegman were full of praise for Rachel Daly following the passing of her dad Martyn

Millie Bright may have lifted the ‘curse’ by scoring her first goals for England women’s senior team last night but the defender was keen to switch the focus on to her ‘hero’ Rachel Daly after an emotional couple of weeks.

Daly’s dad Martyn passed away ten days ago but the Houston Dash forward still found the strength to join up with the England squad and has started both matches during this camp.

The 29-year-old played 82 minutes during Friday’s 8-0 victory over North Macedonia and then scored late on during last night’s 10-0 victory away to Luxembourg.

Bright was also among the goalscorers at Stade de Luxembourg as she marked her 39th appearance with her first and second goals for her country. 

Bright said: "I feel like the curse has been lifted, to be honest. I'm absolutely delighted to get number one and two, but I am more proud for my best friend and so pleased that she got a goal for her Pops up there who has got the best seat in the stadium. 

“I'm so proud of her. I'm not sure how she got through it, but I think she's a hero to all of us, so yeah that one was for Rach."

The victories over North Macedonia and Luxembourg were Sarina Wiegman’s first two games in charge of England and she was also full of praise for Daly.

Wiegman said: “It’s really special. Of course, it is a very emotional time in her life. It’s very sad what happened but how she has performed this week, how she has been focused on football, that’s really incredible.

“She was there all the time, she just delivered, she scored the goal and we were so happy for her.”

England were completely dominant against Luxembourg and led 4-0 at half-time thanks to another brace from Ellen White and goals from Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood.

Greenwood, playing in her 50th cap, and Bright also grabbed two goals on the night, with Daly and Beth England helping to round off the resounding victory in injury-time.

Rachel Daly dedicated her goal against Luxembourg to her dad Martyn
Rachel Daly dedicated her goal against Luxembourg to her dad Martyn

Wiegman said: “I thought the performance was good. It’s pretty hard to make the game against such opponents.

“You have possession most of the game, you have to keep the tempo up. When we continued in the game they were dropping deeper even more, so the spaces were so small. So I think we did a good job by scoring 10 goals.

“With the overall performance, I’m really happy, because as you could see, like in the second half, we had 21 players in the final third, and that’s so hard to go through these small spaces we get and still we got 10 goals.

“I think as a team also we have tried to create many chances, through the centre, with crosses, and if you score 10, that’s okay.

“What I also saw is we had one or two mistakes and everyone was just in transition and we won the ball back within five seconds and that’s what team-work is all about. I really enjoyed that.”

Next up for England women’s senior team is the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 23 October.

And Bright is looking forward to the squad continuing their development under Wiegman.

The Chelsea defender said: “I think everybody knows that we're here to win but it's the process in which we do that. 

“We're on a new journey with Sarina, we've implemented so much already and I think everyone can see back home, hopefully, the improvements that we've made and the way we're eager to win and we just want to continue on this winning streak and getting better each camp as a group."