Few, if any, Bradford City players have been feted as a football ambassador for their country.

But that is how Nahki Wells is viewed by his native Bermuda.

The accolade came from the sports minister Glenn Blakeney, who sees the 21-year-old as the ideal role model for the next generation of hopefuls on the tiny island.

He said: “Nahki is someone young players can emulate in every aspect of their game and general deportment on and off the field. He is one of Bermuda’s most promising players, with an exceptionally bright future.”

Never one to get carried away, Wells accepts the adulation back home with a laid-back shrug.

But he is fiercely patriotic towards the Bermudian cause. For a nation that prides itself on punching above its weight, Wells seems the perfect poster boy.

“I look up to the likes of Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne, who made it in England, and use their careers as an example to ignite mine,” he said.

“There are a lot of hungry, younger Bermudians who have seen me come over here. It’s all about the timing and the right move.

“People are always contacting me to see how things are going. They are behind me and hopeful that my career blossoms.

“I suppose I am considered as a role model but I’m just trying to do the best for myself, my family and my country.”

Wells has put his own international career on hold after Bermuda were knocked out of World Cup qualifying in November, cutting down on the transatlantic travelling to concentrate on nailing down his position at Valley Parade. But he still keeps a close eye on the game back home.

“It’s always been the number one sport but Bermuda is a very small country,” he said.

“But we do well. There are not a lot of countries our size who can compete with the much bigger Caribbean islands in terms of any competition.

“We play the likes of Jamaica, who are 25 times the size of Bermuda. Our population is miles smaller but we still compete with these countries.

“It’s very difficult to be a top Caribbean country in the CONCACAF region. But sport is such a big thing in Bermuda. There is a lot of quality and slowly players are making it out of there.”

Wells first made his name with Dandy Town in the domestic competition before joining the Bermuda Hogges, an elite team set up by Goater and Lightbourne five years ago to play in America’s minor USL with the aim of bridging the gap with their mightier neighbours.

The Bantams striker said: “The league’s not the best in Bermuda because there are no professionals. There is no money being pumped into the sport.

“Obviously you play every week but it’s just for fun. It’s not your job because you’re not getting paid.

“That’s why it’s so difficult for the sport to expand. I wish it had some money involved to improve things.

“The USL pushed that team, which helped the national side to get better because we were competing against professional players. But you need more competition on the island.

“It’s slowly getting better but I would love it if some time in my lifetime you could see Bermudian sport go to the next level.”

The RIASA programme run by Mark Ellis has opened the door for the likes of Wells and national goalkeeper Tahj Bell, who has also been training with the Bantams while turning out for Eccleshill.

Rico Wells, Nahki’s younger brother, is also hoping to one day make the grade.

Wells said: “Rico came here last year before I’d even signed anywhere. Dave Baldwin (City director of operations) got him a few days of training here and he played against a couple of youth teams.

“He also got the chance to train at Hull and has to work on a few things from feedback. But hopefully he’ll get another opportunity.”