Wells goes far with Huddersfield Town '“ much further than even he had imagined

A little over four years ago, Nahki Wells cut a disconsolate figure as he trudged through the mixed zone in the bowels of Wembley Stadium.

Nahki Wellss delight is obvious after Huddersfield Towns penalty shoot-out win over Reading at Wembley (Picture: Simon Hulme).

The Bradford City side in which he played had just been swept aside ruthlessly by Swansea City in the League Cup final, bringing to a shuddering halt one of the more romantic cup stories of the modern era.

Credit to him, Wells fronted up when most of his team-mates – as is the way with vanquished sides at Wembley – just wanted to head home. But his tone was hushed as he wondered, even in his early twenties, if this would be his one and only shot at Wembley.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Little did he know that three months later he would be a Wembley winner as City won the League Two play-off final over Northampton, in a game in which he scored.

There was no goal at Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday, at least not in open play, but there was the sweet feeling of another Wembley play-off final.

This time it was with Huddersfield Town, the side who less than a year after his scoring feats with Bradford had taken him across West Yorkshire in a then club-record transfer fee.

“I thought being promoted with Bradford was the pinnacle of emotions and excitement, but this knocks that one right out of the water,” said the Bermudan international. “To win in that fashion, to have the real highs of the emotions of having seen someone miss a penalty and go behind in a shoot-out, to come back and then score our penalties and then see Danny Ward save the one at the end...wow.

“That’s the highs and lows of football right there. When Chris (Schindler) scored that penalty, there’s no better feeling than that in football.”

Wells, who was a constant threat to the Reading defence with his direct running, could have scored the decisive goal in open play when the ball was cut back to him 15 yards from goal.

But he could only drag his shot wide as cramp in his calf struck as he pulled the trigger.

There was to be no such restrictions that would prevent him striding forward in front of 38,500 expectant, nervous Town fans, though, to score the third penalty that kept Huddersfield in the shoot-out after Reading had gone 3-1 up.

“I was happy to stick mine away,” admitted Wells. “I’m always happy to take a penalty, to put myself forward. I believe I should take them, but that’s a different matter.

“I’m just happy to have scored my two penalties (in both play-off shoot-outs) to get us to this point.

“I’m happy that I played my part. Now I’ve got to get my head around preparing in the best possible fashion for the Premier League.

“This has been a dream for me for many years, to work so hard to get to this point. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“I don’t think it will until the fixtures come out, but let’s just enjoy the moment now.”

Whether Aaron Mooy is part of the Town team that takes to the Premier League is uncertain, even for the Manchester City loanee, who was purely focused on the enormity of the achievement.

“This surpasses my wildest expectations,” said the Dutchman. “Huddersfield had finished 19th last season so to think of promotion when I arrived was ridiculous.

“Everything is the key to this success – the manager, great tactics – it’s hard to put one finger on it, everyone has bought into it.

“At the final whistle it was just euphoria.”