MILLIE Bright has played in stadia right across the world but admits that stepping out at the home of Rotherham United will be right up there.
Bright was born in the village of Killamarsh, on the outskirts of Sheffield. The home of the Millers is the closest ground to where she grew up, roughly 12 miles north, and therefore Sunday’s international between England and Sweden represents something of a homecoming for the 25-year-old.
The Chelsea defender will be hoping to get the nod after missing out on a call-up for the national side’s last visit to this particular corner of South Yorkshire – a 1-1 European Championship qualifier with Belgium 18 months ago.
“Rotherham’s pretty much classed as my home town so it’s going to be quite surreal playing there,” said Bright. “Hopefully, we’ll get really big numbers coming out to support us, including my family and friends, and I’m really excited for it.
“The games are usually far away from Yorkshire so it’s hard for them (family) to normally get there. It’s going to be a big turnout hopefully.”
Sunday’s fixture is the latest Lionesses game to take place around the country.
The games are usually far away from Yorkshire so it’s hard for them (family) to normally get there. It’s going to be a big turnout hopefully.Millie Bright
Last month saw Phil Neville’s side take on Brazil and Australia at the homes of Fulham and Notts County respectively.
Bright, who has won 24 caps, believes that touring around the country is a huge positive.
“It allows different people to come and get to the games,” she said. “It’s hard if the matches are always played down South, so I think it can only be a positive that we’re mixing it up and going to different stadiums. It can only increase our fan base.”
With a World Cup on the horizon next year, Bright knows every game counts, with Sunday’s visit of the Swedes representing an important exercise for Neville to fine-tune his team.
“We need to make the most of every 90 minutes that we get,” said Bright. “It’s a chance to develop and keep building.”