'I was just in shock' - England star Millie Bright explains why captain's armband for 2023 Women's World Cup was never on her mind

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Millie Bright England Women 2023
England captain Millie Bright has explained why getting the armband was never on her mind ahead of this summer's Women's World Cup.
  • Bright named England captain for Women's World Cup
  • Honour comes after Williamson's ACL injury in April
  • Chelsea star explains why she didn't think about it

WHAT HAPPENED? Leah Williamson has been the Lionesses' skipper since early 2022, following injuries to long-time leader Steph Houghton. However, the Arsenal star will miss the tournament in Australia and New Zealand after suffering a devastating ACL tear in April, meaning Bright has been granted the honour instead.

WHAT THEY SAID: Asked if she had mentally prepared to be the captain after the news about Williamson, Bright told reporters: “Straight away I was just in shock that she had suffered such a severe injury. 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.

“There aren’t enough words," she added, talking about the privilege of wearing the armband. "Anyone in my position would say honoured and proud. I feel really grateful to be selected, let alone to be captaining the girls. It is a massive honour.

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"But for me, nothing changes. I stay the same. I’d like to think people see the same Millie every day no matter what. 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. I’m incredibly proud.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bright herself has not played since March due to a knee injury that required surgery, missing England's send-off friendly against Portugal as a result. The Chelsea star is confident that she will be back for the Lionesses' World Cup opener against Haiti on July 22, though, saying she has "no concerns at all".


Millie Bright Leah Williamson England Women 2023

Leah Williamson Arsenal injury 2022-23

Millie Bright England Women 2022

WHAT NEXT? England fly to Australia on Wednesday and will continue their tournament preparations on the Sunshine Coast. Sarina Wiegman's side face Canada in a behind-closed-doors friendly on July 14 before playing their opening group stage game eight days later.