Bolton Wanderers starlet Hayden White has booked a return ticket to Hillsborough
HAYDEN White’s whistle-stop tour has seen him play for three different clubs in four years – but the winger-turned-defender believes he has now finally found a place he can call home.
Little was known about the Greenwich-born full-back when he arrived at the Reebok last summer, save for the fact his former club Sheffield Wednesday were none too pleased to have lost his services.
Wanderers snapped him up in a deal worth an initial £100,000, which could eventually rise to £500,000, but Dougie Freedman insisted he was getting a bargain.
White arrived at Wednesday via spells at Charlton and Stoke and admits his time on the road wasn’t always the easiest.
“It was a bit of a culture shock to begin with,” he said. “My accommodation wasn’t the best in Sheffield and I ended up moving a couple of times, which doesn’t help when you are trying to settle somewhere.
“Generally, though, the move didn’t faze me. I think it probably helped me grow up a little bit and mature a bit quicker.
“In this industry you have got to make sacrifices and there’s no saying you’ll be in one place for any length of time, so I suppose in that respect it was better that I get used to it at a young age.”
Despite staying with the Owls for a couple of years, White turned down the offer of a professional deal to make another move across the Pennines.
“I’d loved my time there but for my career I felt coming here was the best move for me,” he told the club’s programme. “There had been a few other clubs interested in signing me but I had a meeting with Dougie Freedman and the uUnder-21s coach Jamie Fullarton and they told me all about the opportunities I would have here and how my attributes were exactly what they needed, so I signed a three-year deal.”
Launched into an unexpected senior debut at QPR in January, White made his first start for Wanderers in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester City.
He returns to the Steel City tomorrow as a bona fide first- teamer and the youngster has thanked development squad coach Fullarton for his meteoric rise.
“From my point of view it’s been a pretty good season,” he said. “The stuff (Fullarton) does with us day in, day out, is unbelievable.
“He’s a fantastic coach to work with and I owe him a lot.
“As a player he doesn’t let you give anything less than 100 per cent whether you are out on the training pitch or actually in a game. But at this age, we need to have that mentality.
“We’re at important stages in our careers, so to have someone like Jamie managing you is only going to help you develop and progress.”
White also thanked the fans for their support after breaking into the senior set-up.
“It’s been a whirlwind couple of years but right now I’m just determined to keep on working hard, pushing on and hopefully next season will be an even bigger year for me,” he said.
“The fans have been fantastic too, especially following my debut when I got so many tweets congratulating me – I really appreciate their support as it gives you a confidence boost and reinforces that you’re doing a good job.”