WSL

Millie Bright reveals thoughts on away ends in the WSL

Ali Rampling
Bright has spoken in favour of away ends in the WSL
Bright has spoken in favour of away ends in the WSL / Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/GettyImages
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Chelsea defender Millie Bright has admitted she would like to see away ends introduced in the WSL, praising the added intensity they can bring to a fixture.

Segregated away sections remain something of a novelty in women's football, with clubs not typically selling tickets to travelling supporters in an allocated part of the ground. Away fans often have to create an account for the home club's website when purchasing tickets, and rival fans mix harmoniously at matches.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea fans have been particularly vocal when campaigning for the introduction of away ends, while Ian Wright made an impassioned plea for the lack of WSL away sections to be changed following England's Euro 2022 victory.

Chelsea's recent Champions League group fixture at Kingsmeadow saw opponents Vllaznia bring a strong away following, and they helped to create a raucous atmosphere clustered together behind one of the goals.

"We need it," said Bright, speaking in Chelsea's pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday evening's clash with Real Madrid. "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 a game, it can sway momentum for or against.

"I think 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."

Manchester United's dramatic 3-2 victory over Arsenal in the WSL on Saturday also saw United granted an away section at the Emirates.

Over 1,000 United fans were gathered in the corner behind the goal that Millie Turner and Alessia Russo netted late goals in as United came from 2-1 down to end Arsenal's flawless start to the WSL season - triggering scenes of delirium from the electric travelling support.

"It's probably the thing I've screamed for the most, I've wanted the most," added Chelsea boss Emma Hayes. "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-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, and 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."

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