I was never the most gifted footballer in my youth, in fact at school I was only ever picked 3rd or 4th in the playground on the premise that I would go in goal (I was, and still am quite lanky) so I know I am not exactly the authority on how a footballer develops, but..

I’ve been playing CM/FM since the 96/97 game (the one with the grey square boxes as a menu) and the one thing that hasn’t changed in all these years is that PA is determined when you are invented on the game at 14/15 and it doesn’t change. It just seems to me that it’s a bit restricting to be labelled as a player with potential of 85 or 63 or 121 at the tender age of 14/15, and no matter which football club you are at, and no matter how good the facilities and coaches are, that PA number will never change. Take me for example, when I was 15 if I had been put on the game I’d have been judged to have a potential of somewhere between 1 and 1, yet if at the age of 15 I went to a state of the art youth academy with a state of the art training setup and 23 world class coaches it’s a fair bet to say that I’d be a lot better footballer than I am now, some 10 years later.

I think that on the game when you get a fresh batch of youngsters their PA shouldn’t be set in stone, and until the player hits 18 or 19 that PA could rise or fall depending on the environment where they train and who trains them. The future change in a players PA could also be linked to there own stats such as ambition, intelligence, determination etc. The rise/fall of the PA wouldn’t have to be huge, but the training facilities and coaches at a club should make a difference to a players PA. I’d love to think that if I got a youngster aged 14 on the game and he had a PA of 160, there was a chance that with my clubs youth setup and coaches, I could make him world class.