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Destiny’s child

21 February 2013

Nahki Wells is destined to be a Capital One Cup winner on Sunday, says Bradford’s young Bermudan striker

Bradford City’s Bermudan striker Nahki Wells is chasing his dream and is convinced that his npower League 2 team, massive underdogs though they will be in Sunday’s Capital One Cup Final against Premier League side Swansea City at Wembley, is destined for an historic triumph.

The Bantams are the first club from The Football League’s lowest division to reach the Final of the competition since Rochdale in 1962, Dale finishing runners-up to Norwich City in what was in those days a two-legged Final.

Now the Final is a one-off affair at the national stadium and, despite the enormity of the challenge, Wells reckons that Bradford can go one better than Rochdale – and why not after beating top flight teams Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa, the latter in a two-legged semi-final, en route to the Final?

The 22-year-old striker told “We’ve turned over three Premier League teams on the bounce so we know what we’re capable of.

“We know it’s probably going to be a tougher task on Sunday with so much at stake, but I don’t see why we can’t win. We’ll give it 110 per cent, hopefully get a bit of luck and end the day with the cup in our hands.” 

If the Bantams do indeed end up holding aloft the trophy the celebrations will be joined by Wells’ family and close friends, around 50 of whom are flying in from Bermuda to cheer on one of the small country’s favourite sporting sons.

“My mother, my father, my brothers and sisters, my grandparents, godfathers and closest friends will all be at the match,” said the Bermudan international.

“I’m very close to my family – I speak to my mother every day, I chat on the internet to family and friends when I can and I go back home every summer.

“It was a hard decision to move from my family and friends when I came to England, but if you’re destined to reach for your dream you follow it.”

Wells began chasing his dream at the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy in Leeds, combining study with football and initially earning himself a short-term deal with League 1 club Carlisle United.

Released by the Cumbrians in the 2011 close season, he joined Bradford and has progressed to the point where he is being watched by a number of big clubs.

His Capital One Cup exploits have brought him to national attention, particularly in ties against Premier League teams, but it was his two barely remembered second round goals against Burton Albion that kick-started Bradford’s run.

“We were 2-0 down against Burton,” recalled Wells. “I went on as substitute, scored twice and we won 3-2 in extra time – and in terms of our cup run those goals were as important as the one I scored in the first leg against Aston Villa.

“This run we’ve had has been fantastic and it’s part of a great journey for me. I’ve not looked back since I signed for Bradford. I’ve grown as a player, I’m learning week-in, week-out and I’m looking forward to a hopefully bright future.”

Wells could be destined for big things, and helping win the Capital One Cup would certainly take him along the way. So, does he believe in destiny? “Yes I do,” he said emphatically, “and I’m destined to win this Final, I can tell you that.”

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