SHEFFIELD Wednesday boss Dave Jones is smarting from the news that young starlet Hayden White decided to turn down a pro contract with the Owls and sign for Wanderers.

Dougie Freedman admits he “played the system” in securing the services of the highly-rated teenager, who is due to be unveiled officially when his contract comes into effect at the start of July.

And White’s decision did not go down well in South Yorkshire, where the club had been hoping to bring the full-back into the first team set-up next season.

“We made Hayden a good offer for this football club,” Jones said.

“Bolton came in for him. He is entitled to go. He feels his future is with them. If the kid wants to go, that’s his choice. I don’t understand it but it’s his decision.”

Wanderers will pay compensation for White, which could be decided at a tribunal.

But sources in Sheffield believe the club are only expecting a five-figure fee if that is the case.

Jones has spoken highly of the pacy London-born defender in the past and spoke of his plan to integrate him into his first team only a few weeks ago.

“The kid can catch pigeons,” he said.

“It is about finding his best position now. He is a young boy with a big future if he develops and delivers the potential that we all think he has.

“Potentially, Hayden could be a very good player and go all the way. It is up to him now and that’s why he has got an opportunity.

“A lot of people get bogged down with age. They are either too old or too young. It doesn’t matter how old you are and that’s been proved by lots of players who play at the highest level.

“If it is the right person and player, then age doesn’t come into it and they will play.”