GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The term “next man up” is popular in sports, and after making their international debut for the senior men’s national soccer team on Saturday, Nathan Wells and Walter Sawyer were thrust into the starting lineup against Guyana in the 2023-2024 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Nations League match on Tuesday.
Wells is a student-athlete at the University of The Bahamas (UB) and is gearing up for their upcoming season. He described being called up to the starting lineup as a major breakthrough.
“I have been working hard. It was a dream of mine to start. It was a great opportunity to play against professional players. It gave me the opportunity to see what I need to do,” said Wells.
Wells added that when Team Bahamas Head Coach Nesly Jean told him that he was starting at the center mid position, it gave him more motivation to go on the field and give it his all.
Sawyer, who plays for the Dynamos Football Club, said that it was good to go out there and represent his country.
“It was a great experience but I got injured and was substituted out. I wanted to keep going but I did not want to cause further damage. I was surprised when the coach told me that I was starting. I knew I had to focus,” Sawyer said.
The St. Leo University student’s start was dampened by a rib injury that he suffered. He was forced to exit the game in the 32nd minute.
“I was a little nervous at first, but as the game went on, we saw that we could hold them and come out with a win. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that win,” Sawyer said.
The left winger is looking forward to competing for a spot on the team for the next window.
Wells played for 65 minutes before he was substituted out. He is hoping to translate his national team play to his play at the University of The Bahamas.
“It is not the same level of play, but I should be able to translate what I learn from playing with the national team to playing at the University of The Bahamas. I just want to go and do my job and ensure that my teammates and I fight for each other,” Wells said.
Wells will be looking to secure a spot on the team for the next window in October. He said he is looking forward to the challenge.