Nahki Wells has already been singled out as a major weapon for City’s assault on League Two.

The exciting striker from Bermuda emerged as the find of last season after netting 12 goals in his first full year in the English pro game.

Wells, who also bagged the club’s first hat-trick since 2008, has promised there is plenty more to come as he finds his feet.

But his Valley Parade career could have been over before it had even begun.

Former City winger Mark Ellis was instrumental in getting Wells to the club as part of his Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy (RIASA) coaching project.

But he feared that work was going to be all in vain after a dismal showing from the rookie in his first trial match.

City had turned their noses up the year before when Wells first arrived from the Caribbean holiday island. Instead, Ellis had contacted his old Valley Parade team-mate Greg Abbott at Carlisle.

But after Wells was released by the Cumbrians after an unproductive six-month stay, Ellis tried again through City’s director of operations – and RIASA chief executive – David Baldwin.

Ellis said: “I was surprised when Carlisle let Nahki go but I asked Dave if Bradford would now have a look. He had to persuade the club to bring him in.

Peter Jackson was very reluctant. But Dave, in his position, had the power to at least get Nahki the chance. He played against a college team at Apperley Bridge and unfortunately didn’t do all that well.

“I knew he was better than that. He’s a young player who can run through brick walls.

“So I pulled him afterwards in the Victoria Hotel and told him exactly what I thought. I made it clear he wouldn’t play for Bradford again like that.

“Luckily he took it on board, turned it round and scored a couple of goals against a non-league club in the next game. That convinced them he was worth a chance.

“Since then Nahki has gone from strength to strength and I’m really pleased he’s doing it for my hometown club.”

Wells proved such a hit during the second half of last term that City are now looking to tie him down on a long-term deal. He is already contracted to Valley Parade for next season after the club took up an option in his original one-year contract.

Ellis, wearing his RIASA football director’s hat, believes that there will be more untapped talent like Wells arriving on City’s doorstep through the American-funded university programme.

With their base at Leeds Met, the Bantams get first pick of any emerging players – and it won’t cost them a penny to look.

Ellis said: “It’s a unique programme and you can get any player over here. It’s not just from America, we’ve got people from Hong Kong and all parts of the world.

“We’ve got 25 lads all playing at a different level; some are low down but we’re just looking for those one or two special players like Nahki.

“We had another lad from Florida who was absolutely superb. Unfortunately he didn’t have the right passport (to qualify).

“I went to watch him play for the development squad at Stockport and there’s no doubt in my mind he’d be touching the first team now. It’s just a pity he couldn’t play.

“But there is this great opportunity with RIASA for these young lads to get an American degree and play football to their highest possible level.

“Dai Jones is a wonderful coach, a former international scout, and we’ve also got John Hendrie and Ian Banks so they’ve got the best to learn from. All that knowledge not only helped Nahki but will assist other lads in the future to go those extra yards.”

Ellis’s love of coaching has taken him across the globe, including spells in America, with the Ajax feeder club in South Africa and Zico’s team in Brazil. He also spent seven years with Huddersfield’s academy.

Now he is looking for that next Nahki Wells to push City’s way.

“I’m just crazy about football and I’d love to help Bradford where I can. I’m not saying there’s going to be one (new player) next year but someone will pop up.”