Bermuda international Nahki Wells (pictured) shows off his Huddersfield Town jersey after joining the club in January 2014. (Photo courtesy of examiner.co.uk)
HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Tracing the path of your role model can serve as unwanted pressure for most athletes from small countries, but in the case of Nahki Wells, he is using the achievements of his mentors as motivation for success.
The Huddersfield Town and Bermuda forward took the field for his 100th league match on Tuesday, a 3-0 loss to visiting Nottingham Forest in an English Championship encounter.
The defeat is a small setback for Wells, who left his friends and family four years ago for England with dreams of matching the feats of childhood heroes Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne.
Wells told Huddersfield Town magazine, Give Us An H: “Shaun Goater was someone that I aspired to be like, as was Kyle Lightbourne. They both had good careers in England and they proved that it was possible to play at the highest level.”
The 23-year-old joined Huddersfield in January, making a £1.3m move from Bradford City. He has some big boots to fill if in order to emulate Goater.
For Bermuda, Goater scored 32 goals in 36 international outings and also played for several English clubs, most notably Manchester City, where he made 184 appearances and scored 84 goals.
Lightbourne was an English league standout, suiting up for a plethora of clubs including Coventry City, Fulham and Stoke City.
The careers of both players function as an inspiration for Wells.
“My aim is to reach the heights they did and go beyond,” he said. “It will be tough to replicate Goats, but if you don’t set your standards high, you won’t reach them.”
Just as he did with the Bermuda legends, the Terriers striker is hopeful the country’s junior players will aspire to follow his path to professional football.
“Hopefully the young Bermudians can see what I am doing and want to follow in my footsteps,” expressed Wells. “It would be fantastic if they see me as a role model.”
He is still getting used to all the attention since moving into English Championship.
“To be labelled a superstar is strange. All the attention I am getting is a bit weird but it is nice at the same time.”
NOTES: Wells scored two goals in five matches during Bermuda’s 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign … Wells netted 42 goals in 91 league outings for Bradford City.