91: Millie Bright
The England centre-back is approaching a key part of her career but she continues to grow as a defender year on year. She played a big role in Chelsea’s run to the domestic double, scoring a rare but important goal away at title rivals Manchester City in February. A couple of unfortunate moments at the SheBelieves Cup meant her year did not begin as planned, but she has continued to hold off stiff competition for a national team jersey and remained one of England’s starting centre-backs as the Lionesses qualified for the World Cup.
Emma Hayes, Chelsea manager:
“Since Millie joined us from Doncaster ahead of the 2015 season there has been an improvement in her performances year on year, which have seen her become a key player for both club and country. You can see all of her hard work bearing fruit and defensively she is becoming one of the best in the world – and make no mistake about it, she can become the very best. She’s got presence, leadership and few players have a work ethic and resilience to match Millie. The more competition you put in her way, the better she gets. As long as she stays on this path and keeps her feet on the ground, which I have no doubt about because she’s so humble and from a good family, she can achieve anything she wants in the game.”
Phil Neville, England head coach:
“Millie has enjoyed another prosperous year. Her progress since her England debut in 2016 has been remarkable. She’s hardworking, always gives 100% in training and matches and is reaping the rewards for club and country. While impressing alongside Steph Houghton in the heart of defence, Millie has shown she’s comfortable playing alongside different defensive partners.”