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Sharpshooter Nahki continued to dazzle

Slowly but surely the sceptics who have doubted Nahki Wells' ability rise above the lower leagues in England, have had to think again.

The former Dandy Town player hasn't got there yet but it's difficult to believe he won't one day be mentioned in the same breath as Clyde Best, Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne all of whom have played in the most competitive league in the world, the English Premiership.

Just when it seems his career is faltering he pulls another rabbit out of the hat.

It's been that way since his journey across the pond.

He was rejected at Carlisle, made a few substitute appearances at Bradford City, battled his way into the first team, scored goals and quickly became a fan favourite.

The story continued at breakneck speed.

He's bedazzled defenders in the Premier League during City's path to the League Cup final, he's become the first Bermudian to play on Wembley's hallowed turf twice in a single season, the first Bermudian to score at Wembley and played and integral part in the Bantams' unlikely promotion from Division Two (they were barely inside the top ten with a month of the season remaining).

Now in the much tougher Division One, he's continuing to turn heads.

He scored in the last three games of last season and his atonishing streak has amounted to goals in the first four games of this season.

That's seven in succession.

Should he hit the net again against Sheffield United tomorrow he'll do something never achieved in City's long history — the club was formed in 1905.

Already he's tied a record that has stood for more than a half century. City's David Layne scored seven in a row in 1962.

Football's statisticians and historians will take note.

When was the last time any player has scored eight goals in eight successives games at any level in England?

There can be very few.

Much like Bermudians used to follow Goater's performances on a Saturday while at his peak with Manchester City, they'll been eager tomorrow to know wether Wells has reached this remarkable landmark.

Even if he doesn't he's already done enough to capture the eye of scouts throughout the country.

The goals scored this season will have guaranteed that.

He's pledged his immediate future with the Yorkshire club but it's difficult to imagine that he or his club could refuse a multi-million dollar offer which will surely come his way if the goals continue to flow.

Back home the teenagers, who have only read of Best's exploits and can barely remember the Goat's achievements, are now being inspired by Nakhi's rise to fame.

No doubt many of the Under-15 national players who are enjoying so much succes in the Caribbean Regional Tournament in the Cayman Islands this week, are dreaming the same dream that Wells harboured during his time at the Hornets.

Why not?

Unbeaten so far in the competition, scoring 20 goals and conceding just one, they've beaten Caymans, Bahamas, Aruba, US Virgin Islands and St Maarten, and tonight find themselves in the semi-finals against Guatemala, whose senior team have won the CONCACAF Championships and qualified for the Olympics three times.

Fact is there have never have been more opportunities for local teens with talent to eventually make it into the pro ranks.

The normal requisites apply — dedication, hard work and passion — but the doors are much wider than they were in years gone past.

Bermuda Football Association, Hogges owner Paul Scope, and the Bermuda Brazilian Football School have been playing their part in forging links with overseas clubs and academies.

There may be now a half a dozen clubs who already have a connection with local the youngsters.

Ilkeston FC in England have admitted they were keeping a close eye on the Under-15s progress this week.

The English club already have four Bermudians on their books.

Ilkeston play in the minor leagues but are situated in a football hotbed — storied clubs such as Derby County and Nottingham Forest close by.

Impress in that part of England, chances are you'll get noticed.

Few will achieve what Wells has achieved but two years ago who would have imagined the same player could be on the brink of making football history.

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Published August 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm)

Sharpshooter Nahki continued to dazzle

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