Millie Bright to step in as captain for Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Austria on November 27 and Latvia on November 30, with Steph Houghton and her deputy Leah Williamson out injured; Arsenal’s Williamson has filled in for Manchester City’s Houghton in the previous four qualifiers
Wednesday 24 November 2021 08:06, UK
Chelsea defender Millie Bright will captain England for this month’s Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
England play Austria on Saturday and Latvia next Tuesday, but are without regular skipper Steph Houghton and her deputy Leah Williamson due to injury.
Arsenal’s Williamson has filled in for Manchester City’s Houghton in the previous four qualifiers, but is not available to head coach Sarina Wiegman after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham.
✅ Day one complete at St. George's Park.
Ready for team training tomorrow 💪 pic.twitter.com/q2HCmu1nrH
Bright becomes the second captain during Wiegman’s short spell in charge of the Lionesses so far, as Houghton is yet to feature under the former Netherlands head coach.
Asked how it felt to know she would be taking the armband for the games, the 28-year-old said at a press conference on Tuesday: “It’s amazing.
“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 representing your country, and 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.”
Happy to be back, @JordanNobbs8? 💪 pic.twitter.com/sxjq7g9v0t
England have won four out of four in Group D so far, beating North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Latvia 8-0, 10-0, 4-0 and 10-0 respectively in their first four outings under Wiegman.
Bright added: “It was this morning [that Wiegman told her about the captaincy]. She just asked me for a little chat – we’ve actually taught her a new little phrase, ‘little chit-chat’, and she was like, ‘can I take you for a chit-chat?’. And then just asked me if I was happy to be captain for this camp.
“I was a little bit stunned at first. We’ve got a lot of leaders and experience in the team. I was just very humbled and honoured to be given that opportunity.”
The squad reported for duty at St George’s Park on Monday as they look to continue their 100 per cent record and maintain their place at the top of Group D.
Austria are also unbeaten and second in the group, just two points behind England after four games.
Latvia, meanwhile, have lost all four of their qualifiers and sit bottom of Group D.
Man City striker Ellen White is part of the squad for this month’s qualifiers and is set to earn her 100th cap for England.
Bright, holder of 43 caps, said of the Manchester City striker: “She’s the best. Ells is a true professional, she’s worked extremely hard to get to where she is now and she fully deserves it.
“I’ve got all the confidence that she’s going to keep breaking barriers and keep breaking records. She never settles, she’s always pushing herself every day.”
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Sandy Maciver (Everton)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Rachel Daily (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Georgia Stanaway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ella Toone (Manchester United, Ellen White (Manchester City)
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