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Chelsea Women extend Millie Bright’s contract for another 3 years

As signing season stays fresh right after the EURO’s, Millie Bright, who was born on the 21st of August in Chesterfield, England has signed another 3 years with Chelsea FC.

Despite having bouts of asthma as a child, her love for football came around the age of 9 after watching a friend play for Killamarsh Dynamos, a local team in Derbyshire, she decided to join the team and play with them for a few years. Due to her performance during her time with the team, she was scouted by Sheffield United and joined their academy team until she was 16 as she moved to Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2009.

During her first proper season with Doncaster, she played 56 minutes throughout the whole season. She made 5 appearances for the club as she was brought on as a substitute in each match. She also made her youth debut for England U-19 in 2011 and made 5 appearances throughout the whole competition but couldn’t net any goals. Her breakthrough came in the 2012/13 season as she made 12 starting line-up appearances. Her minutes were upped as she played a total of 1124 and finally added to her goal tally as she scored 2 throughout the season.

In the following 13/14 season, she upped her minutes to 1260 as her skills and knowledge of the game were getting stronger. In that season, she scored 1 goal and made 14 appearances, which all came from starting line-up picks. In December of 2014, Bright signed with Women Super League club Chelsea FC ahead of their 2015 season. Paul Green, Chelsea’s assistant manager, stated during the signing that “she is a great character and a young player who is hungry to develop and improve her game. She already has a lot of knowledge and experience and has already played a lot of games in the WSL, so she knows what the league is about”.

In her first regular season with the club, she made 14 appearances throughout as she featured in the starting line-up 9 times and made 5 substitute appearances. Due to this she was named Chelsea Player’s Player of the Year by her teammates. Chelsea finished top of the table with a record of 10-2-2 and qualified for the 2016/17 UEFA Women’s Champions League for the second time in the team’s history.

In June of 2016, she scored a penalty goal kick against the United States during the final game of the Nordic Cup and also went on to make her first cap for the senior England national team in September 2016 as she came on as a last-minute substitution in the team’s 2-0 win over Belgium. In the following season for Chelsea, Bright was named as a starting defender in all of the 15 games that she played and contributed to the team’s 5-0 win against Sunderland. For that season, Chelsea finished in Second place.

During the 2017 FA WSL Spring Series, Bright was the team’s starting left-side defender and helped lead the defensive line to concede only 5 goals throughout all competitions. Throughout the season, she scored 2 goals during attacking set-pieces as they faced both Bristol and Arsenal. The team won the Spring Series with a 8-6-1 record.

In 2018, due to her excellent performance in the previous seasons, she signed a new three-year contract with Chelsea. After signing her new contract, in the 18/19 season, she upped her game time minutes to 1421 as she made 16 appearances and only scored 1 goal. In the February of 2019, she was unable to play for England in the SheBelieves Cup due to an injury. However, in the following months she was selected to represent England at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. During this time, she played in two of the three group matches as well as the Round of 16, Quarter Final and Semi-Final. She received her second yellow card of the competition which ultimately saw her being sent off in the semi-final loss against the United States.

During the 2019-20 FA WSL season, she was named the league’s Player of the Month for the month of December after she scored and provided an assist during the Birmingham match, and she led the team’s defence in a shut-out against Manchester United. During that season, Chelsea placed top of the table as they gained a 12-3-0 record alongside the 19/20 FA Women’s League Cup as they defeated Arsenal 2-1 in the Final.

When the 2020 Women’s FA Community Shield was played for the first time since 2008, Bright scored the game-winning goal in their 2-0 victory against Manchester City. During the 2020/21 season, her game time minutes upped drastically as her skills were shown more throughout the matches. She made 21 appearances throughout the season as she started in the starting line-up 20 times and came on as a substitute only the once. She only scored 1 goal throughout that season but assisted the team a high amount of times.

She captained for England for the first time during a friendly game against Canada on the 13th of April 2021. She was then again called upon to captain the squad by Sarina Wiegman in the two World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Latvia. In the 2021-22 FA WSL season, she made an impressive 22 starting line-up starts as her minutes clocked in at 1973’. She received 4 yellow cards throughout the season but didn’t tally up any goals against the opposition.

Bright was also named to the 2022 Women’s EURO’s squad as she played an important part in getting England to the final alongside the rest of her teammates. As the 22/23 FA WSL season begins on the 10th of September, Chelsea extended Bright’s contract another 3 years, keeping her at the club until 2025 and strengthening their title winning team.

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