Wells raring to go in Cup campaign
Bradford City’s Nahki Wells insists he’s fully committed to Bermuda’s World Cup qualifying campaign and believes they are capable of pulling off another shock victory over Trinidad.
Wells was the big name missing from the national team’s provisional squad last week, raising concerns about his availability, although yesterday he revealed that absence was simply due to his paperwork not being completed.
The striker, who penned a one-year contract with League Two Bradford last month, missed Bermuda’s memorable away win over the Soca Warriors during the 2008 qualifiers because of a knee injury.
Since then, though, his career has taken off with moves to professional English clubs Carlisle United and Bradford, and despite still being only 21, he feels ready to emerge as one of the national team’s dressing room leaders.
“I know the Bermuda Football Association have contacted Bradford City regarding the World Cup qualifiers, so I’ll definitely be involved there’s no doubt about that,” said the former Dandy Town man.
“I got injured before the previous qualifiers so this will be my first World Cup campaign. I have some pro experience now, not much, but it’s something and hopefully I can help our chances. There are some big names in our squad and we’ve got plenty of pro experience in Khano (Smith), John Barry Nusum, Reggie (Lambe) and even Freddy (Hall) who has just signed for Northampton.”
Despite Bermuda being the lowest FIFA ranked nation in their group, Wells said they would be paying no attention to the rankings and backed Devarr Boyles’ side to punch well above their weight against their Caribbean opponents. The Gombey Warriors are ranked in 185th place, Trinidad are 88th, while Guyana are 114th and thBarbados 145.
“We’re going to be the underdogs, at least according to the FIFA rankings, but I think we have a strong chance (of qualifying) we’ve already shown on our day we can beat Trinidad,” said Wells.
“Obviously Trinidad will be our toughest opponents, although I imagine Barbados and Guyana will be tough games too. But when I look at our squad I feel confident we can do something. We’ll have a different game plan for each of our six games; the most important thing is we stick to it.”
Wells has been restricted to one appearance for the Bantams this season, at home against Aldershot, and he accepts he has his work cut out to force his way into their first team.
It’s a task which will be even tougher considering he’s likely to miss several of Bradford’s games over the course of the qualifiers.
“It’s important for me to be part of these qualifiers and the first trip isn’t that long. I’ll only be gone for about ten days so I shouldn’t miss too many Bradford games,” he said.
“I’ll be looking to play 90 minutes against Trinidad and Guyana and that can only benefit my fitness; I should return to Bradford fitter and stronger.
“I’m keen to make my mark for Bradford but it’s not going to be easy as we have a big squad.
“But I’m still positive and I’m sure things will work out for me. Like I said, we have a huge squad and I just have to get through that barrier, break into the team and get my first goal and then I’ll be allright.”
Bermuda’s Group B fixtures
Trinidad (a) September 2
Guyana (h) September 6
Trinidad (h) October 7
Guyana (a) October 11
Barbados (h) November 11
Barbados (a) November 15
Bermuda’s provisional squad
Goalkeepers: F Hall, T Bell, J Williams, M Crockwell, D Johnson
Defenders: T Manders, D Cox, R Trott, R Lee, M Waldron, K Tucker, K Darrell, J Seymour
Midfielders: J Swan, C Caisey, S DeGraff, J Jennings, K Bean, K Steede, S Darrell, T Tucker, L Symonds, Z Lewis
Forwards: K Smith, R Lambe, N Wells, J Barry Nusum, T Burgess, D Coddington, D Ming, A Simmons, A Russell, L Dill, Q Maynard