THIS is the VFL forward your AFL club needs. 

Werribee's spring-heeled, contested-marking beast Josh Corbett is set to be this year's version of Tim Kelly, Liam Ryan and Bayley Fritsch.

Four AFL recruiters have already met with the 22-year-old, while i50 management won a competitive race to sign him – with suggestions he could be selected inside the top 30 of the draft. 

Free of a lingering and debilitating dose of glandular fever, Corbett has taken the VFL by storm in 2018. 

The 190cm North Warrnambool product leads the state league in contested marks (3.4 per game) and marks inside 50 (4.1), and his 8.2 total marks each week ranks second among forwards. 

Only one non-AFL-listed player, former Hawk and Lion Jordan Lisle, is averaging more than Corbett's 2.6 goals, and his 21 majors, compared to 10 behinds, place him in the top five.

"I'm hearing (the hype), but before that I'm seeing a player that you can understand why he's on the radar," Werribee coach John Lamont told

"He's in his third year with us, he's starting to mature a bit more and he's linked games together. 

"I don't know about where he sits in the pecking order … but if you're at our games, you might be like, 'Jesus, who marked that? He was five deep, that bloke, when he marked that'. 

"Then 30 minutes later, you'll say 'Who marked that? It was No.32 again and he's come flying in from the side'." 

Corbett projects as a 'third tall' at the next level, where his high work-rate – his GPS data clocks him at about 14km a game – will come in handy.

Lamont tipped his running capacity to spike in an AFL system, as well as with greater separation from his glandular fever setback.

Recruiters began looking at Corbett late last season as his health improved, coinciding with a three-week stretch where he nabbed 10 contested marks and kicked five goals.

That marking ability has long been his calling card, although he struggled for opportunities at TAC Cup club North Ballarat Rebels.

Corbett's effort, as a 17-year-old, to take 20 marks one chilly night at Cobden in a Hampden league senior match is still spoken about in hushed tones at North Warrnambool. 

"I'll never forget that night – it was unbelievable," former North Warrnambool president Michael Harrison told 

"I can't say enough about him. He can be anywhere in a pack and he'll be able to mark the ball. 

"He's one hell of a kid, he comes from a really good family and the way he looks at life is fantastic. He's always been willing to learn and do a bit extra."

Corbett, like Fritsch, spent time in AFL Victoria's development league and Lamont fears raw talents such as them will be lost since that competition was scrapped last year.