Benny Read is confident he can make the step up from Wessex League to National League South.
The Hawks full-back recognises it is a massive jump in standard.
But the 21-year-old’s pre-season performances at Westleigh Park suggest he will take it in his stride.
Read used his his pace to set up the opening goal in the Hawks’ 2-0 win over National League Eastleigh in their final friendly on Saturday.
The former Horndean right-back burst past his defender, got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Roarie Deacon to net.
Meanwhile, he showed speed and tenacity when carrying out his defensive duties.
Read, who had a trial with Premier League new boys Sheffield United last season, said: ‘Obviously there is a big difference from the standard I was playing last season.
‘But I feel pre-season has gone well and it is enjoyable at the moment.
‘No disrespect to the Wessex League but the quality of the player is much higher.
‘Also the pace of the game is much quicker, with one or two touch football speeding it up.
‘I have had to adjust but more and more I am getting used to the way the manager wants me to play.
‘I love playing right-back and getting up and down the wing.
‘I have always kept myself fit and have always been quite quick, so it suits the way the gaffer wants us to play.
‘He wants both full-backs to get crosses into the box.
‘While I enjoy the defending side, I love getting assists for the strikers.’
Read was a winger when he started out at Horndean.
But Five Heads Park manager Michael Birmingham converted him into a right-back.
And while nothing came of his short spell with the Blades in February, Read reckons it has helped him settle at the Hawks.
He added: ‘My time there was a different class.
‘I was with them for just over a week, with the under-23s to start with and then the first team.
‘That has helped me out in coming to the Hawks.
‘It gave me experience of being around better players, so when I arrived at Westleigh Park it didn’t come as quite such a shock.’