Outgoing Werribee coach Michael Barlow has backed a pair of Tigers VFL stars to land on AFL lists as early as this off-season.

Award-winning pair Shaun Mannagh and Sam Clohesy were both integral to the 'Bee's rise under Barlow this year, with the standalone club reaching the VFL Grand Final off the back of a 17-game winning run before falling to minor premiers Gold Coast in the decider.

That game saw Mannagh put together the performance of his career, with the 26-year-old booting six goals from 27 disposals and three clearances to win the Norm Goss Medal as the best player afield despite the 19-point loss.

The grand final outing came after a home and away season campaign where Mannagh booted 32 goals and averaged 25 disposals to be one of four Werribee players to earn a spot in the VFL Team of the Year.

A strong number of AFL coaches and recruiters were in attendance for the VFL Grand Final at Princes Park late last month to see Mannagh dominate from the first quarter, with his own coach believing the electrifying midfield-forward would be in the best 22 for "a lot of sides".

Speaking on AFL Trade Radio, Barlow, who has recently joined North Melbourne as a development coach, said Mannagh is deserving of a spot on an AFL list despite his age and has garnered interest already.

"A fair amount from what we're what we're hearing," Barlow said of the AFL interest in Mannagh.

"I'll just frame it like this... all these players on an AFL list, if you take a half-forward/mid and you put them in VFL season and they have to play the whole year, only five per cent of them are having games like Shaun Mannagh had.

Werribee Tigers VFL coach Michael Barlow with (L-R) Nick Coughlan, Tom Gribble, Shaun Mannagh and Dom Brew. (Image via Werribee FC, Twitter)

"If Shaun Mannagh isn't in the best 400 players... I think he is in the best 22 of a lot of sides at the moment. Disregard the age.

"26, that's still a four to five-year career for someone that's great culturally, got a great work ethic, is a great person. I was stoked for him that he had that game on the big stage."

Clohesy was awarded the 2023 Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal following his second season with the Tigers, emerging as a promising half-back flanker under Barlow, who won the same award himself 14 years ago.

The former Fremantle and Gold Coast winner is among a rich list of winners that have gone on to earn AFL deals after starring in the VFL, with Luke Ryan, Bayley Fritsch, Nic Newman, Michael Hibberd, Jake Riccardi and Kane Lambert also winning the award.

Barlow revealed AFL clubs are "significantly interested" in Clohesy following his breakout campaign, with the 20-year-old potentially joining his brother Ted, who is listed at Geelong, in the top flight.

"Yes, I do," Barlow said when asked if he expected Clohesy to be on an AFL list next year.

"He's just a great person that is driven, he's competitive, he's tough. He's quite skinny and we told him to go away and he's got two to three kilos to put on , can run really well.

"All he wanted to do was compete and win the trust of his teammates and this is what I loved about the Werribee side this year. We weren't focused on individuals getting out and getting drafted and all that. I think when we pushed that to the side and focused on the team, Sam epitomised this.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Hudson Garoni of Werribee (R) celebrates a goal with Sam Clohesy of Werribee during the round 10 VFL match between Werribee and Casey Demons at Avalon Airport Oval on May 27, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Martin Keep/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"He played for his team, got the trust of his teammates then he had some fun at the back half of the year when he was playing freely and running off at half-back. His anticipation from defence to offence and offence to defence is at a really high level.

"So I know there's some clubs, they're significantly interested in him. 20 years of age and his brother is in the system. He's a good story Sam and I'm hoping for an opportunity for him."

Both Mannagh and Clohesy could be recruited via the National or Rookie Drafts next month or be trialled over the summer at pre-season training as part of the Supplement Selection Period window, which opens later this year and runs until mid-February.