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West Ham forward open to Bermuda

Making strides: Parfitt-Williams, far left, is highly rated by West Ham's coaches

Djair Parfitt-Williams, the West Ham forward, has not ruled out playing for Bermuda.

The 19-year-old was born in Bermuda but moved to California at the age of 8 and had initially pledged his international allegiance to the United States rather than play for the island.

However, Parfitt-Williams no longer views the US as an option and said he would be open to playing for Bermuda or England in the future.

“Since I have not lived there [the US] for about five years it’s a little more difficult for me to play for them, so the only real two options I would play for now is Bermuda or England,” Parfitt-Williams told The Royal Gazette.

“But, if I’m being honest, I haven’t really thought about internationally properly because I have been so focused on West Ham purely.”

The forward has featured twice for West Ham’s first team against Lusitanos of Andorra in the Europa League qualifiers in July last year, and has been an unused substitute away in four Barclays Premier League matches this season.

He made an immediate impact on his return to injury in last week’s Barclays Under-21 Premier League Cup final first-leg win at home to Hull City, coming on as a substitute for West Ham’s development team and scoring the only goal of the game.

“It felt amazing,” said Parfitt-Williams, who is his team’s scorer in the competition with four goals. “I guess I’m in the right place at the right time!”

Martin Samuelsen, Parfitt-Williams’s team-mate, said: “Djair is just back from injury. He’s three or four weeks ahead of schedule so it was great for him to be out there.

“He’s an amazing football player. He’s got great skills, can score goals and he’ll definitely be one for the future.”

Parfitt-Williams said West Ham’s win over Hull has boosted his team’s confidence ahead of tomorrow’s second-leg tie.

“1-0 definitely gives us a good mood in training and we should be confident going into the second leg,” he said.

“We’re confident to go anywhere and beat anybody, as we have such a good team.”

Considered one of West Ham’s most exciting talents, Parfitt-Williams signed a two-year deal at the club after finishing as the top scorer for their under-18 side with nine goals last season.

He was playing for the San Jose Earthquakes academy when he was recommended to West Ham by Bermuda legend Clyde Best, who played for the East London club between 1968 and 1976.

Best, who had been contacted by the player’s grandfather Lynn Wade, said he immediately spotted something special in Parfitt-Williams, who was then aged 14, during a Somerset Trojans training session.

Parfitt-Williams had been invited to train with the US Under-17 squad but decided to attend the trials at West Ham instead.

Maurice Lowe, the Bermuda Football Association technical development director, told The Royal Gazette in January that Parfitt-Williams would be “welcomed with open arms”.

“We wish Djair all the best and he has to make the best decision for his career,” Lowe said. “But should he choose us then we would be tickled and enjoy that very much.

“We would love for him to opt to play for Bermuda, but he has to make the best and most-informed decision for his future.”

n Huddersfield Town are sweating on the fitness of Nahki Wells, the Bermuda striker, who was substituted at half-time during his team’s 4-0 defeat away to Bristol City after suffering a knee injury.

Wells, who has been linked with a move to several clubs, including Premier League side Southampton, has scored 18 goals for the Sky Bet Championship club this season.

The 25-year-old former Dandy Town player will be hoping to be fit for Saturday’s home game against Brentford as he looks to hit his target of 20 goals for the season.

David Wagner, the Huddersfield head coach, said: “Nahki has done a very good job for us.

“As I have said, nobody is allowed to expect 20 goals a season from a Huddersfield Town player. We have to be realistic, with a club in the position we are in, such a mark would be unbelievable.”