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Chelsea FC Women have announced Lionesses star Millie Bright as captain ahead of the new WSL season. 

Bright, who has been at Chelsea since 2014, has made 245 appearances for the London club and won 15 major trophies.

The 30-year-old takes on the captaincy after Magdalena Eriksson completed a move to Bayern Munich at the end of last season. 

The 75-cap England international has previously filled in as skipper for Emma Hayes’ side but will now lead Chelsea on a permanent basis, starting with Sunday’s WSL season opener against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Following the announcement, Bright told the club’s website: ‘It’s a massive honour to have the title of club captain. Chelsea is my home. It always has been and always will be, so I’m delighted to have that title, but nothing changes. I’m in a really privileged position.

England defender Millie Bright has been named as the new captain of Chelsea FC Women

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‘I’m excited and delighted Emma has given me the trust and put me in this position. It’s an absolute honour to be captain of Chelsea, roma drakt and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.

‘I’ve always been me no matter what. My role doesn’t change, I don’t change and I’ve always taken pride in whether I have the armband or not, I will always lead by example.’     

Chelsea boss Hayes added that Bright is a player ‘you can always count on’ when explaining the decision to name her captain of last season’s double winners.

She said: ‘I would like to congratulate Millie on becoming our new captain. I’ve watched her grow as a player and a person in the nine years we’ve worked together and she’s ready for this.

‘The biggest compliment I can pay her is that you can always count on her. However big the challenge, whatever the occasion, she can cope with the pressure and the expectation.

‘Even without the armband, she’s been a leader for so many years. I’m not just talking about the example she sets, but she’s vocal, she’ll organise people on the pitch and she’ll drive the team on, whether we’re pushing for goals or seeing a game out.

‘I can’t tell you how important it is for a manager to have someone like that on the pitch.’

Bright has plenty of recent captaincy exeperience, leading Sarina Weigman’s England to the final of this year’s World Cup after Leah Williamson was ruled out through injury.

The former Doncaster Belles defender missed the closing stages of last season with a knee problem, and will be looking to make up for lost time as Chelsea go in search of further silverware. 

The Champions League has remained an elusive prize for Hayes and her side. Bright, who played the full 90 minutes of the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the 2021 final, is looking to take inspiration from former Blues’ captains to lead the club to further glory.

She said: ‘I’ve led the girls out quite a lot over the years that I’ve been here. I’ve also had the honour of being vice to some top legends and amazing people I’ve learned a lot from.

‘I learned a lot from Kaz [Karen Carney], Katie [Chapman], Mags [Eriksson] and other leaders we’ve had within the team. Now, it’s a massive honour to have the title and to be able to call yourself club captain is huge.

Bright captained the Lionesses to the final of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in August

The 30-year-old has worked closely alongside Chelsea boss Emma Hayes to help the Blues dominate on the domestic front

Chelsea, who won the league and FA Cup double last term, get their WSL season underway against Tottenham on Sunday

‘I will always be a leader within the team because that’s just who I am and what I demand from the team will never change. It’s the culture at Chelsea, everyone is a leader and has responsibility.’

Maintaining the domestic dominace that has characterised Bright’s time at the club will remain paramount.      

Under the guidance of Hayes, the Blues have won seven of the last nine league titles as well as five FA Cups and two League Cups. 

Chelsea and their new captain will be hoping to get the new campaign off to a winning start against a new-look Spurs outfit at Stamford Bridge.

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