Wells doubt for first round
Nahki Wells, the Bermuda captain, has admitted it is doubtful he will be available for next month’s first-round qualifiers of the Caribbean Cup.
Bermuda are away to Cuba in their opening game on March 22 before taking on French Guiana at their final round-robin game at the National Stadium on March 26.
Wells’s absence would serve as a significant blow to Bermuda’s hopes of qualifying from group three, with coach Andrew Bascome now sweating on the availability of overseas professionals Rai Simons, of Chesterfield, and Reggie Lambe, of Mansfield Town.
Wells has been in impressive form of late, scoring in his last two games against Cardiff City and Preston North End, and is Huddersfield Town’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions.
“It’s a possibility that I could be playing and a possibility that I will not,” Wells said. “But more than likely I do not think I will be playing.”
The 25-year-old led Bermuda in last year’s World Cup first-round qualifier against Bahamas, scoring three goals in his country’s 8-0 aggregate win, but pulled out of the second-round matches against Guatemala after injuring his left ankle during a training session at the North Field.
Despite the loss of their best player, Bermuda achieved a 0-0 draw in the away leg against Guatemala, who were ranked 33 positions above them in the Fifa world rankings, but crashed out of the competition with a 1-0 defeat at home.
Wells’s Huddersfield slipped to seventeenth in the Sky Bet Championship table after losing 2-1 away to Preston last weekend.
It was a game Wells felt Huddersfield should have won having taken the lead through his goal in the 80th minute.
“We dominated them from start to finish and I think two silly errors in the last ten minutes of the game costs us,” said the former Dandy Town player.
“It’s discouraging to see us lose, but we were actually back to what we do best, and that’s playing front-foot football; creating chances, having lots of possession, winning the ball back quickly and playing attractively.
“We did that on Saturday so we just have to continue to do that but defend better as a team and see out games. I’m sure we will start winning again.”
Huddersfield are away to tenth-place Nottingham Forrest in the league on Saturday.
Earlier this week Dale Eve, the Bermuda goalkeeper, ruled himself out of Bermuda’s two friendly matches in St Kitts and Nevis this month, but said he wants to be involved in their two group matches against Cuba and French Guiana.
Bermuda will play St Kitts and Nevis’ Under-20 team on February 19 and a full international against their first team two days later.
“I don’t think I’ll be available for the friendlies, more so looking forward to the actually qualifying matches,” said Eve, who has informed Maurice Lowe, the Bermuda Football Association technical development director, of his decision.
Eve joined Forest Green Rovers, the Vanarama National League side, last week after being released by Barclays Premier League side Stoke City.
The Bermuda goalkeeper had a spell at the Vanarama National League side in October and will be looking to prove to Ady Pennock, the club’s manager, that he is worth a longer deal.
Eve hopes Forest Green can be his ticket back into the Football League next season.
“If they get promoted then obviously I’ll stay, I want to be in the [Football] League next season,” Eve said.
Eve travelled with Forest Green’s first team to Wales last weekend and with second-choice goalkeeper Jonny Maxted recovering from a broken foot, was on the bench against Wrexham.
The match ended 2-2 which cost Forest Green top spot as Cheltenham Town won 2-1 away to Barrow to climb above them.
Forest Green are away to Halifax Town this weekend.