- Millie Bright has been named Chelsea’s new captain ahead of the WSL season
- The 30-year-old defender led England to the World Cup final in August
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Chelsea Women have announced Lionesses star Millie Bright as captain ahead of the new WSL season.
Bright, who has been with Chelsea since 2014, has made 245 appearances for the London club and won 15 major trophies.
The 30-year-old takes over the captaincy after Magdalena Eriksson completed the move to Bayern Munich at the end of last season.
The 75-cap England international previously captained Emma Hayes’ side but will now manage Chelsea on a permanent basis, starting with Sunday’s WSL season opener against Tottenham.
After the announcement, Bright said the club website: ‘It is an enormous honor to carry the title of club captain. Chelsea is my home. It always has been that way and it always will be that way, so I’m very happy with that title, but nothing changes. I am in a truly privileged position.
England defender Millie Bright has been named as Chelsea’s new captain ahead of the upcoming WSL season
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“I am excited and delighted that Emma has given me the confidence and put me in this position. It is an absolute honor to captain Chelsea and I am really looking forward to the coming season.
‘I’ve always been myself, no matter what. My role doesn’t change, I don’t change and I’ve always been proud that whether I have the armband or not, I will always lead by example.”
Chelsea boss Hayes added that Bright is a player you can always count on as he explained the decision to appoint her captain of last season’s double winners.
She said: “I would like to congratulate Millie on becoming our new captain. I have seen her grow as a player and as a person in the nine years we have worked together and she is ready for this.
‘The biggest compliment I can give her is that you can always count on her. No matter the challenge, no matter the occasion, she can handle the pressure and expectation.
“Even without the bracelet, she has been a leader for so many years. I’m not just talking about the example she sets, but she is vocal, she will organize people on the pitch and she will drive the team forward, whether we are pushing for goals or watching a game go down.
‘I can’t tell you how important it is for a manager to have someone like that on the pitch.’
Bright has plenty of recent captaincy experience and led Sarina Weigman’s England to the final of this year’s World Cup after Leah Williamson was ruled out through injury.
The former Doncaster Belles defender missed the closing stages of last season with a knee problem and will look to make up for lost time as Chelsea look for more silverware.
The Champions League has remained an illusory prize for Hayes and her side. Bright, who played the full 90 minutes of the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the 2021 final, wants to take inspiration from the Blues’ former captains to lead the club to further glory.
She said: “I’ve mentored the girls quite a bit in the years I’ve been here. I have also had the honor of being vice-man to some top legends and great people from whom I have learned a lot.
“I’ve learned a lot from Kaz (Karen Carney), Katie (Chapman), Mags (Eriksson) and other leaders we’ve had on the team. Now it’s a huge honor to have the title and to be able to call yourself club captain is huge.
Bright led the Lionesses to the World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand in August
The 30-year-old has worked closely with Chelsea boss Emma Hayes to help the Blues dominate on the domestic front
Chelsea, who won the league and FA Cup double last season, start their WSL season against Tottenham on Sunday
“I will always be a leader within the team because that is just who I am and what I demand from the team will never change. It’s the culture at Chelsea, everyone is a leader and has responsibility.’
Maintaining the domestic dominance that has characterized Bright’s time at the club will remain paramount.
Under Hayes’ leadership, the Blues have won seven of the last nine league titles, as well as five FA Cups and two League Cups.
Chelsea and their new captain will be hoping to get the new season off to a winning start against a new Spurs team at Stamford Bridge.