Former Doncaster Rovers Belles ace to captain England at Keepmoat Stadium

Former Doncaster Rovers Belles star Millie Bright will captain England in their World Cup qualifier at the Keepmoat Stadium next week.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:33 am
Millie Bright. Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The Lionesses face Austria at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday before taking on Latvia in Doncaster on Tuesday (7pm).

Chelsea defender Bright will take the armband for both games in the absence of skipper Steph Houghton and her deputy Leah Williamson due to injury.

Bright, 28, captained England in a friendly against Canada earlier this year but now has the chance to lead her country into a competitive fixture for the first time.

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"When Sarina [Wiegman – head coach] told me, obviously, for me I think no matter what age you are, how many times you've done it before, it's always going to be a huge honour,” Bright said.

"Representing your country, not only that, but then leading the girls out for this camp is obviously an exciting opportunity. But for me, nothing changes. The aims are still the same. Keep performing well and hopefully lead the team to two more victories.

"I think with or without the armband. I always remain myself and the same Millie, the same player, the same person.

"I like to lead by example, like I said, with or without the armband, keeping my standards high every day, and I'm just here for the team to do well, that's the aim. I think we've all got that same mentality.

She added: “We've actually taught her a new little phrase “little chit chat” and then she was like “Can I take you for a chit chat?” and then yeah, just asked me if I was happy to be captain for this camp and I was a little bit stunned at first.

“We've got a lot of leaders and experience in the team and I was just very humbled and honoured to be given that opportunity.”

Chesterfield-born Bright played for Belles between 2009 and 2014 when the Keepmoat Stadium was the club’s home.

"For me, looking back at the Keepmoat, that was my first real experience of playing in a big stadium,” she said.

"That’s kind of where the dream started really, in terms of one day will I be playing in a big stadium in front of a big crowd, let alone leading the England team out, having that opportunity.

“It's been a roller coaster of a journey and to be able to go back there and lead the girls out in front of the people and my family that were there from day one, that is going to be a moment that will last forever and certainly one my family are going to be proud of.”

England lead Group D with four wins out of four.