Millie Bright

Date of birth: 21 August 1993
Place of birth: Chesterfield
Position: Midfielder
International: England senior
Trophies won at Chelsea: FA WSL 2015, FA Women’s Cup 2015, FA WSL Spring Series 2017

A strong, imposing midfielder, Millie Bright signed for Chelsea Ladies from Doncaster Rovers Belles in December 2014.

She quickly found a place in the team in the heart of Emma Hayes’s midfield alongside skipper Katie Chapman, impressing with her tough tackling and physicality as we finished the season victors in not only the Women’s Super League but also the FA Women’s Cup.

She featured in 26 of a possible 28 fixtures in the 2015 campaign which included her first appearances in European football as we reached the last 16 of the Women’s Champions League.

Having established herself as a key player in her first season as a Blue, Bright went from strength to strength in her second campaign, starting more matches than any other player and excelling in a number of different roles. Whether asked to play in her regular midfield role, at centre-half or in either full-back position, her form never fluctuated and this was recognised by her peers as she was voted the Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year to go along with the Young Player of the Year award she retained.

Having shone at Under-23s level for England and captained the side, full international recognition came in the autumn of 2016 when she was awarded her first cap for the Lionesses in a 2-0 win over Belgium in September. Two months later she was named England Young Player of the Year, capping an excellent year.

In January 2017 she signed a contract extension which keeps her at the club until May 2020, and it was just the beginning of an excellent year for a player who has made a marked improvement in each campaign as a Blue.

Bright was a near-permanent fixture in the side as the left-sided defender in a back three as we conceded only five goals in all competitions by the end of 2017 Spring Series, and she also netted twice herself to underline her threat from attacking set-pieces.

Having forced her way into the England reckoning at the tail-end of 2016, Bright then displaced former Blues centre-half Laura Bassett in the team for the 2017 Euros and she started every game in the Lionesses run to the semi-finals, earning a mark of nine out of 10 for her performances at the tournament from the BBC Sport website.

A talented horse rider in her youth, Bright joined Doncaster from the Sheffield United Centre of Excellence in 2009 and progressed through the England junior ranks to under-23 level. At Doncaster she was shortlisted for the FA Women’s Super League 2 Player of the Year award in 2014 having excelled for the Belles as they narrowly missed out on promotion.