Millie hoping for a Bright future with the Lionesses

Tuesday 28 Feb 2017
Millie Bright in action against Norway

Millie Bright is the newest face in the England Women’s set-up – but she is determined to stay in the squad for a very long time.

The 23-year-old was first called into the Lionesses fold for the Euro 2017 qualifying double-header against Estonia and Belgium last September.

She made an instant impact on head coach Mark Sampson and was rewarded with a debut against the Belgians.

Bright has since added another two caps to her tally and has designs on earning even more following her inclusion in the squad for the SheBelieves Cup.

She said: “I’m honoured to be here. I’m still never certain whether I’ll be in any squad, let alone here for this tournament.

“Every time I get called up it still feels like the first time. I still get that buzz.

“Now it’s a case of pushing myself and doing well every time I’m involved. I can’t take my spot for granted so I’ll work as hard as I can while I’m here to earn my place.

“I always give 100% in training and in matches and as long as I can walk off the pitch happy that I’ve tried my hardest then that’s all I can do.

“But hopefully I can stay involved with England for as long as possible. I just need to keep my head down.”

Bright, who is comfortable in both the heart of defence and midfield, has had an impressive couple of seasons with Chelsea, helping the Blues win the double in 2015.

She has been involved with England since 2011, winning her first U19s cap against France.

And after appearing 13 times for Under-23s, she made the step up to the seniors last year.

Bright said: “Making my debut was an unbelievable experience.

“You always think that day will never come and I didn’t think it would come for me so soon, because I hadn’t been in the squad that long.

“I was over the moon. I know it was only five minutes but they were a big five minutes for me.”

She added: “I still feel like the newbie. This squad has been together for quite a while now and I’m the newest one in.

“It’s not as if I don’t know the girls but it’s just changing my mindset from playing against them to playing with them.

“I definitely feel like I’ve settled in now and I think that has showed in my training and my performances.

“When you’re in the youth sides you want to reach the seniors but at the same time I think some players dread it because you feel like there will be a massive gap and that it will be totally different.

“But once you get here you realise how similar it actually is. The principles are still the same. The only thing that changes is the people you’re playing with.”

And with just three senior team appearances on her CV, Bright could line-up against the might of France, World Cup holders USA, and European and Olympic champions Germany in the SheBelieves Cup.

She said: “It’s exciting to see how well we can do in this tournament. You have to test yourselves against the best to be the best.

“We know we’re a good side so if we can do well at this tournament we’ll be in a really good place ahead of the Euros.”

England open up against France in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday 1 March followed by the host nation in New Jersey on Saturday 4 March and finally Germany in Washington on Tuesday 7 March.

By Glenn Lavery in Philadelphia