Fitness permitting, Millie Bright will lead the Lionesses at Women’s World Cup 2023

Fitness permitting, Millie Bright will lead the Lionesses at Women’s World Cup 2023 by Michelle

Millie Bright, who previously served as vice-captain under Leah Williamson during their Euro 2022 win, was all set to fulfill the same role in the upcoming summer tournament in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, Williamson is unable to participate after suffering a season-ending ACL injury in March 2023, leading her centre-back partner Bright to take on the lead role as the captain, under Sarina Wiegman.

The Chelsea defender, Bright, has been facing uncertainties regarding her own fitness due to an injury. As England prepares to start their World Cup campaign against Haiti on 22nd July, it’s worth noting that Bright hasn’t participated in a single minute of competitive football since March, due to a knee problem.

“I’d like to think people see the same Millie every day, no matter what,” Millie told BBCSport. “I always lead for the team, that’s just natural to me.

“I expect standards from the group. I see myself as the driver because I am so competitive – you have to keep pushing to be better, year in, year out.”

Bright, who has been checking in with centre-back partner Williamson following her injury, says she did not give her new responsibilities much thought until recently.

“Straight away I was just in shock that [Williamson] had suffered such a severe injury,” Bright said.

“I don’t think the captaincy crossed my mind at all, hand on heart. Then I got my injury so my head was just fully on my rehab and trying to make the selection. [The captaincy] was probably the last thing I thought of.

“I’ve always been a big believer that you cannot put captains under the same umbrella – everyone has their different qualities and leads in a different way,” she said.

The Lionesses have a behind-closed-doors match against Canada WNT on 14th July, before their first match of the  tournament against Haiti.

Do you  think the Lionesses can go all the way?

Michelle Maxwell

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