MILLIE BRIGHT was left ‘stunned’ and ‘humbled’ when Sarina Wiegman made her Lionesses captain before the team’s clashes with Austria and Latvia.
And the Chelsea ace is relishing the chance to lead England at the Doncaster ground where her senior playing journey started.
Bright, 28, will skipper Wiegman’s team in two upcoming World Cup qualifiers following injuries to Steph Houghton and Leah Williamson.
Of her captain’s role, Bright said: “I’m just very humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity.
“I was a little bit stunned at first as we’ve got a lot of leaders and experience in the team.
“We’re all gutted for Leah. It’s a big loss and she was really coming into her own in the role and she did a fantastic job at our previous camps.
“But that’s part of football, you have to be ready when you’re called upon.
“And I’m ready for the challenge this week and this camp and hopefully I can continue the good work that has been done previously.”
Bright, who is vice-captain of WSL champs Chelsea, intends to “remain herself” when she leads England in qualifiers against Austria and Latvia.
Sarina Wiegman’s side go into this game off the back of a 4-0 defeat of Northern Ireland and 10-0 hammerings of Luxembourg and Latvia.
The Group D clash with their Austrian opponents will take place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light at 12:30 pm on Saturday 27 November followed by a 7:00 pm November 30 duel with Latvia.
And the match with Austria will be the Lionesses’ sternest test so far with their unbeaten rivals currently sitting second and two points behind them.
Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger and her club-mate 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 opponents and everyone’s looking forward to seeing how we do in that game.”
England’s game on Saturday could see Ellen White, 32, make her 100th senior international appearance.
And the Man City hotshot, shortlisted for a Fifa award, is just three goals short of eclipsing Kelly Smith’s all-time international record of 46.
It’s been a rollercoaster journey. To go back there (Keepmoat Stadium) and lead the girls out will be a moment my family and me will be proud of
Bright said: “She’s coming up to these unbelievable achievements, but I can tell you now, Ellen’s focus will purely be about the team and that’s just Ellen down to a tee.
“I’m confident she’s going to keep breaking barriers and records.”
England’s second game against Latvia will see the squad head to Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
It is a ground that remains dear to Bright who began her senior playing career at 16 with the Doncaster Rovers Belles.
And the WSL star has fond memories of her time with the Belles including hefty defeats which taught her the importance of bouncing back.
Bright added: “I suffered many losses at the Keepmoat, some heavy, heavy defeats.
“I remember my dad driving me all the way back from a holiday and we got beat 8-0. Then a week later, I suffered another 8-0 loss.
“But it’s those games and those experiences that made me the player I am.
“It’s about never staying down when you’re knocked down, it’s always getting back up and fighting back.
“But for me looking back at Keepmoat, that was my first real experience playing in a big stadium and that’s where the dream started.
“It’s been a rollercoaster journey. To go back there (Keepmoat Stadium) and lead the girls out will be a moment my family and I will be proud of.”
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