CANVEY Island boss Mark Bentley has tipped Southend United loanee Freddy Eastwood to follow in his dad’s footsteps and excel.

Eastwood, who is the son of Shrimpers legend Freddy, made his Gulls debut in the 1-1 derby draw at Great Wakering Rovers less than 24 hours after sealing his one-month work experience move to the Isthmian North club.

Bentley played alongside the teenager’s dad during a two-year spell at Roots Hall and he sees similarities between the Eastwoods.

The Canvey chief said: “There were a couple of Southend fans saying it was weird seeing Bentley and Eastwood together again. It was a bit of a throwback.

“Freddy is a bit like his dad. I don’t want to put any pressure on him but the way he runs and his technique is how I remember his dad at Southend.

“He has got some real class and swagger about him. He is a confident kid.

“I knew he would suit this level because of that and he has a really bright future ahead of him.

“Freddy wants to get into the Southend first team and get opportunities like Matt Rush has been getting under new Southend manager Sol Campbell.

“He believes in his ability and that is a big positive.”

Eastwood impressed on his debut as Canvey came from behind to draw with Wakering at Burroughs Park.

And Bentley is keen to build a relationship with former club Southend.

“Freddy came in for his first game and was outstanding,” added Bentley.

“I know what he is going to bring and I was really pleased to get the loan deal over the line.

“Freddy is not fazed by this level and that is great.

“I want to work with Southend because of my background there.

“I have been trying to get a couple in since being at the club but Freddy is the first one I have been able to.

“They know I will play the lads if they put in performances.

“We will give Freddy the good experience he is here for.

“Hopefully he will chip in with some goals and assists.”

Canvey fell behind as Wakering debutant Kojo Apenteng broke the deadlock.

But, having already seen his outfit squander numerous opportunities, Bentley’s side were able to steal a share of the spoils thanks to Albert Levett curling home Jason Hallett’s quickly taken free-kick after home goalkeeper Bobby Mason was adjudged to have handled the ball outside of the penalty area.

And Bentley insists the Gulls should have sealed all three points.

“I’m really pleased with how we performed because we were down to the bare bones,” admitted Bentley.

“Players played through the pain barrier, which shows the character we have in the squad.

“If I’m honest, I’m really disappointed we didn’t win because we totally dominated the game.”