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Millie Bright relishes Real Madrid battle and backs calls for more away ends in the Women’s Super League

MILLIE BRIGHT hopes to see more away ends in the women’s top tier following the intense atmosphere at Chelsea’s last game in Europe.

And the Blues vice-captain, 29, is relishing taking on Caroline Weir, for the first time since the Scotland star’s July move to Real Madrid.

Millie Bright says away sections in women’s football are important for momentum in the game
The fans of Albanian side Vllaznia created a raucous atmosphere when their team took on Chelsea at Kingsmeadow in October
Tonight Chelsea will play their first Group A game against Real Madrid whose squad includes Caroline Weir

Bright was speaking ahead of Chelsea’s first-ever Women’s Champions League group stage clash with Madrid this evening.

The Group A game at Kingsmeadow comes four weeks after the Blues trounced Albania side Vllaznia 8-0 at the ground.

Despite the score their opponents’ enthusiastic away fans provided raucous support throughout the encounter.

The Albanian club’s fans had been allocated a section behind a goal at the Blues’ fortress which their supporters had pretty much filled.

Bright said: “I think every player will agree that we want that in the women’s game.

“It’s intense, but that’s what you want games to be like.

“It can change the game and can sway momentum. for or against.

“The fans enjoy it, and it shows what football in Europe is all about and we want to bring that to the WSL as well.”

Uefa’s Women’s Champions League regulations stipulate that clubs competing in the competition should ‘make at least five per cent of the total capacity of their stadium available exclusively to visiting supporters in a segregated, safe area’.

However, in the women’s domestic game in England, separate sections for away fans are not offered by all clubs.

Some away visitors have had to set up accounts on the websites of the home teams their clubs are playing in order to buy tickets.

And some visiting supporters have found themselves sitting with home fans rather than having the option of a designated section.


It is an issue that a number of supporters groups, including Manchester United Women’s Supporters Club, hope to see addressed with the introduction of away ends.

On Saturday more than 1,000 Red Devils supporters were clustered in a section of the Emirates cheering their team’s 3-2 defeat of Arsenal in the league.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes and Ian Wright are among the leading figures in the sport who back the idea of away sections at WSL games.

Hayes, 46, said: “It’s probably the thing I’ve screamed for the most, I’ve wanted the most.

“I’ve always felt we have to separate into certain sections, it creates atmosphere. For fan safety, it has to be that.

“Watching the Man Utd-vs-Arsenal game and seeing the Man Utd fans there in their numbers; this is what has to happen going forward.

“Everything that’s happening is a notch up from where the game has been.

“I think that inevitably this time next year it won’t be a conversation we’re having because I imagine those things will be in place.”

This evening will see Chelsea take on Real Madrid for the first time ever in the Champions League.

The Liga F giants, currently third in Spain’s top tier, have lost just once in 12 games across all competitions this season when they fell to a 4-0 home defeat against Barcelona this month.

Tonight’s game will see Weir, 27, in action against Chelsea for the first time since the Blues beat her former side Man City in the FA Cup final in May.

Bright added: “She’s a wonderful player and she’s gone to a new level since she has been out there

“Everybody knows her technical ability and the magic that she can perform, but equally, we’re just focusing on ourselves.

“We know Real Madrid’s threats but equally, we know us and we’re just ready for the game.

Weir has notched up four goals and three assists in seven games for Real Madrid in Spain’s top division

“We’re expecting them to be aggressive with great energy and an attacking presence.

“We’ve got to be switched on defensively. It’s going to be an interesting game.

“I think it’s going to be a feisty (game) and certainly one that we’re ready for.”

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