Lee Bradbury praised Aaron Cosgrave’s hunger as he tipped the new Hawks striker for a bright future.
The 18-year-old, who came through the academy ranks at Colchester United, signed a one-year deal at Westleigh Park this week.
Bradbury has the option of extending that contract by an extra year after being impressed by the forward during pre-season.
Former West Ham schoolboy Cosgrave spent last season with Coggeshall Town in the Eastern Counties League.
But he will now join the youthful Hawks strikeforce of Alfie Pavey, 22, Nicke Kabamba, 25, and Alfie Rutherford, 19 in the National League.
Bradbury said: ‘You can see in the games he has played what Aaron is about.
‘He has great pace, good awareness and good feet.
‘His goal (against Horndean) came from a good first touch and it was an impressive finish
‘The lad is still only 18 and has a good future ahead of him.
‘He is hungry. He travels from Brentwood across London to meet Ed Harris and Ben Dudzinski and comes in with them.
‘There are not too many around that have the pace, strength, touch and the attitude to go with it.
‘He came through an agent who I speak to. They liked him at Tranmere where he went on trial.
‘They have just gone back into the Football League, though, and are looking for league players.
‘I spoke to Rovers manager Micky Mellon and he had good things to say.’
Experienced forwards Jason Prior, Matt Tubbs and James Hayter all left the Hawks this summer.
Bradbury knows he may need to add an older head to his striking pool at some point but is happy to place his faith in youth for now.
Cosgrave’s best Hawks display to date came in the 5-2 win over Horndean last Saturday.
He produced a superb flick to set up Rutherford for the opener.
The Shenfield teenager then got himself on the scoresheet when he raced clear, rounded the keeper and showed great composure to place the ball past the retreating defenders into the net.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski has shown why Bradbury brought him to the club from Lowestoft Town last season.
With Tuesda night’s opponents AFC Totton losing their stopper in the warm-up, Dudzinski donned the gloves to play against the Hawks.
He went on to pull off a string of superb saves before the Stags lost 2-1.
The Hawks complete their pre-season programme with the visit of League One Wimbledon to Westleigh Park on Friday (7.45pm).