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This is not strictly a career update in the traditional sense as you'll see if you read on but I really wasn't sure where else to post it

Who is Our Man?

I am going to follow the career of just 1 player.  This player will be a regen/newgen at a club from one of the 92 League teams available to manage in England, chosen entirely at random.

I will load up all 6 levels of England in case our man goes out on loan.

I will follow the entire career of the youth player no matter how short or long. 

Will he get released and retire straight away?

Will he scale the heights of international football? 

Or indeed will it be somewhere in between?


No real reason other than I thought it might be fun to follow and watch a young players career blossom or nosedive and hopefully some of you will enjoy and become invested in his progress

The Setup

I will holiday until youth intake day (Feb/March 2019) and will not manage a club myself but will be an unemployed onlooker

To choose Our Man I will use a random number generator in this order

League (1-4)

Club (Current League Position)

Player (Alphabetical)

I will use full detail for youth competitions and the senior league his club play in and attribute masking will be off so we can see how he progresses.

I will not be looking at CA/PA or using the editor in any way.  The default database will be used with no amendments

I'm not going to be using comparison spreadsheets etc for attribute changes as it's not exactly my forte but I will be using screenshots and commenting on any changes, however if there are any request for info I'll see what I can do

So lets meet Our Man......

Edited by Brother Ben
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Random Number – 1-4

3 – League One

Random Number 1 - 24

20 - Blackpool

Random Number 1-10

7 – Martin O'Donnell


So here he is, Martin O'Donnell a 16 year old youth graduate at Blackpool FC he's a centre midfielder who can also pay just in front of the back line



He's a Lancashire lad and was born in Lancaster with an unambitious personality although he is level-headed when dealing with the media

I'm not quite sure what to make of his attributes at the moment as he's so young but although they do all seem pretty low he's got quite an even spread

Blackpool Under 18's play in the EFL Youth Alliance North West and currently sit 6th out of 14 so our man's first objective is to break into the youth starting side.

There is heavy competition in the CM area although the team do play in a diamond formation without wingers so hopefully he can force his way into the side as they play with 2 CM's and a holding midfielder.

The only other DM in the side is fellow graduate Henry Whitney so that may be his best way in

Here's a look at Henry



They are clearly quite different players but I think our man would be the better choice for a holding role as Henry looks a lot more like a CB

As for the CM situation Martin is one of five vying for a place and 3 of them are older and more senior having a full youth season already under their belts


Rob Kenyon is another of this years youth graduates so we'll take a look at him



Again our man looks a lot more well rounded so hopefully he will get the shout ahead of Rob

The remaining 3 are as follows





All 3 seem stronger in certain areas although they are a little further down the line in terms of age and development

It's going to be tough for him and with senior pro's dropping down to gain fitness he's got his work cut out and It'll be interesting to see how this pans out in terms of who gets game time although I imagine with only 5 games left  until the end of the season our man may have to wait until next season to get his chance

I have to admit I'm quite bad at spotting what makes a good youth player so it's not immediately obvious to me who is better than who from these players, moreover without being able to see their strength in particular roles (I'm not in charge of the team) I can't really pick out who Martin's direct competition is.  I'm sure though that you guys will have a better idea of this than me. The one thing I will say is that his unambitious personality does worry me a bit and i'm really hoping it doesn't hold him back too much

So onwards and upwards then

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First game

Shrewsbury Away

Our Man starts his first game in the holding midfielder role and i'm so glad, I had visions of him not playing a single game and this all being worthless.

Sadly though Martin does not cover himself in glory and is directly responsible for Shrewsbury's first goal after doing a poor marking job at the back post.  Thankfully he recovers to put in a solid 6.8 performance and is second only to Blackpools goalscorer Euan Bange who has a goal a game for the under 18's

Sadly though Blackpool go down to a 2-1 defeat

So a reasonable personal start for Martin and hopefully he can cement his spot in the side although he'll need to get his strength attribute a lot higher than 4 if he is to make it as a defensive midfielder

Match 2

Morcambe Away

No place in the match day squad for our man in this game as Henry Whitney takes his place and rubs salt in the wounds by getting himself on the scoresheet

Match 3

Walsall Away

Another steady if unremarkable 6.8 display for Martin as Blackpool go down 3-1 making it 3 games lost on the bounce since the youth intake

It's looking like the under 18's manager is probably rotating his side so I doubt our man will make a start in the next game

Match 4

Rochdale Home

Martin starts so my rotation theory is wrong and yet again another 6.8, this time though Blackpool hold on for a draw to break the losing streak

Match 5

Wrexham Home

The final match of the season sees Martin fail to make the match day squad for the second time in 5 games and as the curtain goes down on the season he'll be hoping for lots more game time next season

Final season stats


As for attributes progression in his 3 months at the club he has gone up 1 point in jumping reach and 1 in strength


Blackpool U18's finish the season in 7th place in the EFL Youth Alliance North West Division

The senior team meanwhile suffer the ignominy of relegation to league 2 and the manager is sacked and  replaced by Alan Pardew, quite a fall from grace for the former Premier League boss.

What effect will relegation and a new manager have on our man?  We will have to wait and see.

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Season 2


Martin starts two out of three friendlies but is very disappointing in both games although he does seem to have nailed the DM place for himself until that is I see that his main rival Henry Whitney was called up to the first team for a couple of senior friendlies, Martin is going to have his work cut out for him this season

Week 1 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Preston Away

And he's off the mark!

A well worked corner is headed back across goal and our man is there at he back stick to head home from about a yard, seemingly trying his best to be caught offside but the goal stands, our man doesn't celebrate wildly though as he's far too professional and level headed, well that and the fact that they're already trailing by 5 goals


He rounds off the game with a pointless yellow card as he scythes through the back of a more than adequately covered attacker with all the subtlety of a hand grenade


despite a hat-full of misplaced tackles and passes Martin bags himself a 7.3 rating, great stuff


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Week 2 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Crewe Home

Much like last season Martin is left out of the squad for the next game which ends in a draw, Henry Whitney who is quickly becoming our man's nemesis starts and proceeds to score Blackpool's equaliser in a hard fought one all draw

Week 3 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Burton Away

Another steady Eddie performance from Martin who despite seemingly preferring to pass to the opposition brings home another 6.8 performance in an entertaining 2-2 draw where two Blackpool players are sent off.  Martin clearly decides that the best way to avoid joining them is to abstain from tackling anyone altogether, at this point his 5 rating for determination is looking generous

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11 minutes ago, BillHoudini24 said:

Nice concept, I like the level of detail! Hope he develops nicely into at least  a League One player.

Thanks Bill although I’m not sure how long I can do every match before I run out of things to say and it may get a little monotonous, might change it up to half season summaries.  I’ll see how it goes

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Week 4 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Rochdale Home

Fails to make the match-day squad

It's also worth noting at this point that i'm starting to look like a bit of a stalker014.thumb.jpg.d0a0a36690df37c741a36585cc14ee8e.jpg

Week 5 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Accrington Home

Martin starts but notably so does Harry Whitney at centre back, hopefully this will be an ongoing thing and will give our man a decent run of games, Blackpool run out 4-2 winners and Martin puts in a more than decent 7.1 display which is in the top half of Blackpool players.  No mistakes today as our man cements himself as the king of the 5 yard pass to more talented teammates 


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I like this concept and will follow it.

In my opinion it is Even more interesting to See his Development in a half-year-period, and not his performance at every game. 

Hopefully you keep this Thread alive.

and obviously...Good Luck Martin. 😁

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3 hours ago, ElCuriosoJr said:

I like this concept and will follow it.

In my opinion it is Even more interesting to See his Development in a half-year-period, and not his performance at every game. 

Hopefully you keep this Thread alive.

and obviously...Good Luck Martin. 😁

Yeah I'm thinking the same thing, it's a stretch to make a career of one player interesting game by game let alone a holding midfielder!

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Okay so the format of this will have to stay the same until Martin makes it to senior football as there doesn't seem to be a way to view anything other than the last played U19 match.

If I did half or full season updates i'd only be able to look at the bare minimum like average rating so it'll be pretty dry and stats driven and really I want to give Martin as much personality as possible

So i'll carry on as is for the time being

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EFL Youth Alliance Cup - Crewe Home - Group Stage

A decent 1-0 victory where Martin bags himself a more than deserved 7.0 defending heroically in front of the back 4 late on as Crewe push for an equaliser, he manages to get himself yellow carded late on but this time he's taken one for the team, amusingly he flaps his arms around in innocence after a challenge that wouldn't have looked out of place in the NFL.  A good day for our man all round


Week 6 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Oldham Home

0-0 - a bore draw and Martin picks up his customary 6.8


A few attribute changes worth noting since the last time we looked he's risen by 1 in the following dribbling, decisions, vision, acceleration, pace and stamina.  Small gains but hopefully it's a trend

Edited by Brother Ben
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EFL Youth Alliance Cup - Gateshead Away - Group Stage

Blackpool thoroughly hammered, Martin is one of the best of a bad bunch  with a 6.6 rating, another day to forget and as the 4th goal slides in Martin looks to the heavens for inspiration. Not today Martin, not today


Week 7 - EFL Youth Alliance North West - Oldham Home

After the previous result Martin is dropped from the match-day squad Henry Whitney moves into his position from CB, the match ends 1-1


Edited by Brother Ben
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EFL Youth Alliance Cup - Huddersfield Away - Group Stage

Another game, another defeat, another yellow card.  Extra points for variation for our man though who gets increasingly annoyed with a Huddersfield players attempts to shield the ball and decides to shove him unceremoniously to the ground.  Our man is quickly becoming the king of the needless foul on opposition players moving away from goal in non-threatening positions


A 6.6 here for Martin as the team go down 2-0 and out of the cup

For those of you wondering at this point why i'm bothering, you are not alone!  I'll be switching it up to half/full season updates shortly so I can hopefully cover his whole career before FM20 lands and maybe do something similar but with maybe 3 youth players from the same intake and have a rethink with the structure of it.  There's the nucleus of a good idea here somewhere i'm sure

Edited by Brother Ben
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  • 1 year later...

Anyone want some closure on this?

Well you’re in luck because I reinstalled FM19 last night and decided to find out


I’m afraid it isn’t great news for Martin at all,

After 2 full seasons in the youth team he was released from Blackpool without playing a single senior match. 

For the 3 months after Martins release he was wanted by various conference North sides but nobody ever came in for him and he retired from the game.

To add insult to injury just 2 months later his nemesis Harry Whitney would make his full Blackpool debut and go on to have a decent career in and around league 2 for various clubs.

Here are Martin’s attributes at the end and below as they were at the start




I notice that he picked up the trait of diving into tackles which to be fair he’d been pretty decent at, he loved the physical side of the game.  Maybe there just isn’t room for an enforcer in the modern game anymore.

His overall record for the youth team:

  • Appearances - 58
  • Fouls committed - 115
  • Yellow Cards - 17
  • Goals - 4
  • Assists - 1
  • Pass Completion - 83%
  • Average rating - 6.78
  • Man of the match - 0

Released on 30/06/2021

I like to picture Martin in later life propping up the bar at his local in his native Lancaster regaling the locals with tales of his youth team exploits and how he could have been a contender.


Sadly, much like this thread, it fizzled out, like so many promising young careers, because of course for every Harry Whitney that makes it, there’s a dozen Martin O’Donnell’s.

Edited by Brother Ben
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