MILLIE BRIGHT was left ‘stunned’ and ‘humbled’ when Sarina Wiegman became her Lionesses captain ahead of the team’s clashes with Austria and Latvia.
And the Chelsea striker is enjoying the opportunity to lead England at home to Doncaster, where her playing journey began.
Bright, 28, will skip Wiegman’s team for the upcoming two World Cup qualifiers following injuries to Steph Houghton and Leah Williamson.
Arsenal ace Williamson, 24, who has acted as a substitute for Houghton, 33, is currently sidelined with an ankle problem for the rest of this year.
Regarding his role as captain, Bright said: “I am humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity.
“I was a bit stunned at first because we have so much leadership and experience on the team.
“We are all devoted to Leah. It was a huge loss and she really got into her role and she did a great job at our previous camps.
“But that’s part of football, you have to be ready when you’re invited.
“And I’m up for this week’s challenge and this camp and hopefully I can continue the good work that’s been done before.”
Bright, vice-captain of WSL champions Chelsea, plans to “remain herself” as she leads England in qualifying against Austria and Latvia.
Sarina Wiegman’s side enter this match after a 4-0 defeat to Northern Ireland and 10-0 to Luxembourg and Latvia.
Group D’s clash with the Austrians will take place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light at 12:30pm on Saturday 27th November, followed by a showdown at 7:00pm on 30 November. with Latvia.
And the match against Austria will be the Lionesses’ most rigorous test to date with their undefeated opponents currently second and two points behind them.
Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger and her teammate Victoria Schnaderbeck are among the players in their opponents’ squad.
Centre-back Bright, who has 43 international caps, added: “We don’t underestimate anyone.
“Austria will be our toughest opponent and everyone is looking forward to seeing how we do in that game.”
England’s game on Saturday could see Ellen White, 32, hit 100NS high-end international appearance.
And Man City’s hotshot, shortlisted for a Fifa Award, just three goals short of Kelly Smith’s all-time international record of 46.
It is a roller coaster journey. Going back there (Keepmoat Stadium) and leading the girls out will be a moment my family and I will be proud of.
Bright said: “She’s doing unbelievable feats, but I can tell you now, Ellen’s focus will be entirely on the team and that’s just the teenage Ellen.
“I am confident that she will continue to break barriers and records.”
England’s second game against Latvia will see the team head towards Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
This is a close playground for Bright, who started his playing career at the age of 16 with Doncaster Rovers Belles.
And the WSL star has fond memories of her time with the Belles, including the crushing setbacks that taught her the importance of recovery.
Bright added: “I took a lot of losses at Keepmoat, some heavy, heavy losses.
“I remember my dad driving me home from a vacation and we were beaten 8-0. A week later, I suffered another 8-0 loss.
“But it was those games and those experiences that made me my player.
“It’s about never falling when you’re knocked down, it’s about always getting up and fighting back.
“But for me looking back at Keepmoat, it was my first real experience playing in a big stadium and that’s where the dream started.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride. Going back there (Keepmoat Stadium) and leading the girls out will be a moment my family and I will be proud of. “
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4131753/millie-bright-england-austria-lionesses/ Millie Bright ‘humbles’ to become England captain and enjoys fairy tale return to Doncaster pitch