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Best way to bring young players through from U19 to senior team


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So I have read up a lot on this, but still a bit conflicted. Usually I don't pay much attention to the youth as I am at a club for maybe 3-4 years and even when I buy youngsters they are ready to play a role in the first team immediately.

My current save is different and more of a long-term project. I have at least 4-5 promising youngsters who are all progressing but I feel like they could be improving even faster. I have a few questions for those with more experience on this matter.

1. Have heard that training is the most important thing till the age of 18. For this I am trying to get better youth coaches, assign them myself, and also looking into the individual training focuses of these youngsters.

2. Match experience - is it better to let them play for the U19s, where they are getting very high ratings, or promote them to the B team, or promote them to the senior side and give them a few games off the bench? Because I know that game time is necessary, but also that a player needs to play well to improve - getting 6.5s is probably not going to suffice. But is getting regular 7.5s for the U19 team better?

3. In view of the above should I look to send them out on loan, something which I have always been averse to do as then you lose control on training. However my young player who has developed the most this season is actually one out on loan to a club in a lower division and getting regular football, so it got me wondering.

Currently I have just moved my best two prospects to the senior team, put them in a mentoring group, am giving them some minutes of game-time while at the same time making them available for the B team. 

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I think that I am very successful at brining through youth players to the first team, but my approach is relatively extreme and therefore leads to the clubs that I manage not being able to compete at the very highest level - but that's my way of playing.

  • Make sure your youth teams play the same formation as the senior team
    • To make this a smooth transition - and to avoid any talented youngsters going to waste due to their attribute distribution, it is best to start to play a balanced style of play in a neutral formation. My favourite is the 4411, as it can accommodate pretty much any type of player. For example, playing a 442 will make it difficult to accomodate a talented attacking midfielder, playing a narrow fomation will make it difficult to accommodate a talented defensive full back etc.
  • Make your youth squads balanced so that everyone has enough playing time at the correct level. 
    • For example, if my u19 squad as 4 strikers and 2 CBs, I will look to release 1 or 2 strikers rather than a CB, even if the CBs are trash and all the strikers are good.
    • To increase your balance, it's also good to scout the youth teams in the leagues below you, it is quite easy to find players who are far from wonderkids but still have good potential for cheap.
    • Keeping the squads balanced also increases your youth player's ratings in the youth leagues, as the team will perform better - this will aid development
    • This, combined with the previous point, makes any promotion to the senior squad as painless as possible.
  • After making your youth teams as similar to the first team as possible, start to look to sell all your backup players and fill the bench with youngsters. This way they will naturally get playing time as you have to rotate and cover for injuries
    • I look to promote my youngsters to the bench once their ability become good enough for the league below.
  • If a player reaches 19 and still is a way off being good enough for the bench, I will look to loan them out.
  • If you want to give your player first team oppertunities, but youre worried he may be a liability, you could partner him with a quality player to cover for his mistakes.
    • For example, if i have a centreback breaking through, I may sell my 2 first choice CBs for 20 mil each, then promote my youth player, and sign a 40m CB to partner with him.
    • Kind of like Klopp with Van Dijk and Gomez. 

And to answer your questions:

  1. Yes that's true
  2. That's a tough question, I would compare the quality of the player to the first teamers in the same position. For me, if there ability is good enough for the league below, I try to give them game time, but if not, they will be out of their depth in first team games and should stay in the youth teams.
  3. Loans rarely work out for me, but there are a few things that  I try to be sure of before loaning a player out
    1. He must be a first teamer for the loan club. If they offer rotation status, then don't loan to that club, as in my experience, AI managers rarely rotate so they will hardly get games
    2. Ideally the club must be predicted to finish in the top half of the league they are in, and I never loan to a team predicted to be relegated, as chances are, every player in that team will be getting poor ratings. Winning games can improve the ratings of the players, even if they didn't even play particularly well.
    3. The loan team should ideally have good training and youth facilities
    4. The loan team's manager should play a formation and style that suits a player. For example, if I had the next Messi, I would look for a manager who plays: Passing style, 433, and attacking mentality. And, if I had the next Jamie Vardy, I would look for a manager that plays: Direct style, 442.

With your players, unless they are first choice to come on for someone else in there position who has been injured, or is fatigued, I would demote them back to the youth team. Because mentoring is a long term process and can wait, and the players may be missing out on lots of first team training sessions anyway, as they will play games on a different schedule to the first team and therefore may be: tired before a game, as they trained hard with the first team the day before rather than did game prep; missing training sessions while away with the youth team; and not getting adequate recovery, as they will train hard with the first team the day after a game. Also, if they didn't play a game with the first team, they may be training too lightly, as the first team will be doing recovery sessions, whihc will not be needed if they rarely play first team games.

 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Currently I have just moved my best two prospects to the senior team, put them in a mentoring group, am giving them some minutes of game-time while at the same time making them available for the B team. 

Exactly that's what I do. When my best prospects constantly get 7,5+ match ratings on the U19s, I think they're ready to play with the B team to gain experience on a higher level. However, I'm not in control of training there (due to the set-up of B teams in Spain), and they have less quality and quantity trainers, so instead I promote them to the first team for training and mentoring and make them available to play matches with the B team. If they perform well over there, they will get playtime in the first team in cup matches first and I then evaluate further. 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

So I have read up a lot on this, but still a bit conflicted. Usually I don't pay much attention to the youth as I am at a club for maybe 3-4 years and even when I buy youngsters they are ready to play a role in the first team immediately.

My current save is different and more of a long-term project. I have at least 4-5 promising youngsters who are all progressing but I feel like they could be improving even faster. I have a few questions for those with more experience on this matter.

1. Have heard that training is the most important thing till the age of 18. For this I am trying to get better youth coaches, assign them myself, and also looking into the individual training focuses of these youngsters.

2. Match experience - is it better to let them play for the U19s, where they are getting very high ratings, or promote them to the B team, or promote them to the senior side and give them a few games off the bench? Because I know that game time is necessary, but also that a player needs to play well to improve - getting 6.5s is probably not going to suffice. But is getting regular 7.5s for the U19 team better?

3. In view of the above should I look to send them out on loan, something which I have always been averse to do as then you lose control on training. However my young player who has developed the most this season is actually one out on loan to a club in a lower division and getting regular football, so it got me wondering.

Currently I have just moved my best two prospects to the senior team, put them in a mentoring group, am giving them some minutes of game-time while at the same time making them available for the B team. 

1 - It is the most important thing. At that age, concentrate solely on training, with no emphasis on match or pre match training to maximise thier time on the training ground with those wonderful coaches. Make sure you set the focus of your coaches yourself so that all the areas are as highly starred as possible with a light a workload as possible. For individual focus, I would suggest broad brush training such as RPM for a midfielder, Complete Forward for an attacking player (wing or striker), BPD for defenders and CWB for full backs. I would normally do this for thier first year, then asses thier stats and give them a focus to work on the weaker areas that they have through thier second year. Ideally by the time your 18 year old is ready for the step up to reserve/B team football he is fairly well rounded as a footballer and can now concentrate on honing his skills in the posistion you want him to play. I like a well rounded footballer, it means your team can do a lot well rather than a little great but that is personal.

2 - If they are young, youth football is the best thing for them. If you have a balanced youth and B team squad then they will be playing at the right level for them. By balanced, I mean the U-18's arent getting called up to the B team all the time as well as playing thier own matches taking time away from the training ground. The rating thing has gone away now from what I remember, it used to be they needed to get a certain rating or ammount of time to get the experience, now every minute counts at any level.

3 - Loans are for those players who are too good for youth football but not quite good enough for a regular place in your first team or your squad. It needs to be a good club with good facilities and management, needs to be a regular playing spot and they need to be in at least a mid table posistion. I tend to have a rule where I don't send a player out on loan until they are 18 at least, though they are more likely to go out at 19 to get more game time at the right level. With FM20, moving players into your first team squad too early can have an adverse effect, as they may be missing out on a lot of training time. Mentoring can take place later on, you need to focus on the basics of being a footballer first and foremost.

I will link this guide from SFraser here, its very very good, in depth and well worth a read. Developing Youngsters.

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There are some key things I do when I am looking to transition a player into the first team. 

1. The season before I plan to start properly incorporating them into the team I will promote them to the senior squad. That way they are training with the first team players and can be mentored. They will still play the majority of their football with the B/reserve/youth side, but at least they are integrating into the squad. They will get some games when I can play them in a low risk environment. A cup game we do not care about. Or a cup game against a weak side. Or even a Champion's League game if we have already qualified from the group. 

2. Make sure I have space in the squad for them to play more games the following season. There is no point in planning to play a youngster if there is no spot. So I will try to coincide promoting a player with getting rid of a backup or an aging player in the same position. This is of course for the season when I plan to start playing the player. If this is not possible, I will try to find a loan for the player. But it has to be to a club who are going to help him develop. That means game time at a level that is better than my reserves. And also with good enough coaching that he will not regress. Be very picky about this, it may be better to have a second transition season while you make room in the squad. 

3. Then plan to give the player 10+ games that season. The more the better. If he is playing well, just stick with him. If he has a couple of bad games, do not give up on him.It may be that after this season you decide he is actually never going to make it. Or that he needs a little more development time. But ultimately give him that season to prove he belongs in the first team. If you do this well then the player should shoot up in his attributes and integrate himself into the squad naturally. 

I have used to method to bring 5 players into my Milan squad in my current main save from the youth side. 3 of these players are not featuring in the first team regularly, and one of them has already become a really important player. The other 2 are slowly working their way into the squad. One will be a fixture next season when an ageing CB either retires or moves on. The other is still pretty raw but he has shown glimmers of excellence. I have another two players who are currently in their first season of transition, and looking very promising indeed. 

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16 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

So I have read up a lot on this, but still a bit conflicted. Usually I don't pay much attention to the youth as I am at a club for maybe 3-4 years and even when I buy youngsters they are ready to play a role in the first team immediately.

My current save is different and more of a long-term project. I have at least 4-5 promising youngsters who are all progressing but I feel like they could be improving even faster. I have a few questions for those with more experience on this matter.

1. Have heard that training is the most important thing till the age of 18. For this I am trying to get better youth coaches, assign them myself, and also looking into the individual training focuses of these youngsters.

2. Match experience - is it better to let them play for the U19s, where they are getting very high ratings, or promote them to the B team, or promote them to the senior side and give them a few games off the bench? Because I know that game time is necessary, but also that a player needs to play well to improve - getting 6.5s is probably not going to suffice. But is getting regular 7.5s for the U19 team better?

3. In view of the above should I look to send them out on loan, something which I have always been averse to do as then you lose control on training. However my young player who has developed the most this season is actually one out on loan to a club in a lower division and getting regular football, so it got me wondering.

Currently I have just moved my best two prospects to the senior team, put them in a mentoring group, am giving them some minutes of game-time while at the same time making them available for the B team. 

Regarding point 3, the most important thing is that they're getting playing time at a level where they can 1) play regularly and 2) is competitive enough to challenge them. To make sure your youngsters play, you need to have as few of them as necessary. IRL, Ajax's youth teams never have more than 18 players. In FM, due to how woeful the AI (including your staff!) is at rotating, you never actually need more than 11 players. Yes, you read it right: one per position, especially for goalkeepers who need lots of playing time to make progress. It's made possible by the existence of grey players, place holders for when your squad doesn't have enough depth. Nevermind that there's fluidity between the squads and you can often find a senior player or a U19 player giving a hand at Reserves level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b-EzUmWx7E

If necessary, release or loan away players who either need better challenges or do not show progress and/or potential. You need to actually pay attention to the actual progress of players: sometimes the staff says a youngster has potential, but then you go check his actual progress and notice the player hasn't made any sort of progress in the last season. In those cases, you need to re-asses what's going wrong with that player: training, personality, playing time, coaching, facilities.  Sometimes there's nothing wrong, the player simply doesn't have potential and/or too many flaws you cannot fix, and he needs to be sold or released. It's pretty important to keep your squads as slim as necessary to make sure players get the playing time they need, and if a player cannot get competitive playing time at senior level but is waltzing at Reserves level, you need to loan him so that he makes progress.

One good reason not to loan a player is if the player has certain flaws in his attributes or personality that need to be addressed by specific training or Mentoring, but you need to take a risk in your results to give that youngster playing time, even if he's not deemed good enough for senior level, to make sure he can make progress before being loaned away.

https://www.fmscout.com/a-fm20-development-guide-and-training-schedules.html

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I have had a lot of success with newgen development, the key here is not to overplay them.  You want avoid the ass man coming to you telling you he is fatigued at all costs.

You want to make sure they play in matches they can actually do well in. I like to bring them on when there is low pressure on them, like if I am leading 2 nil. The standout for me this season on Twitch has been Maffei, whose development has been meteoric. 
 

And @Jack722 advice is right on the $$

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