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[FM21] Hometown Heroes


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June 2037: 'Dr Stazys-Cullman' - Training methodologies

Although my squad is really shaping into what I want it to be - I want to see how far I can push it!

To help me do this, I'm going to entrust an old Excel document that I used in my Guadalajara save to track the progress of players over a year - in that case, it was youth development from the first year at the club. This time, I'm looking at just how much I can impact my first team.

For starters - here are some statistics from the starting point:

1024df1d2060d25871d6098b3b51c0c4.png

This is the average for the whole first team squad - you can see that, as I have been trying to do, we are strong technically, and have good Determination (mentoring) and decisions as well as quite good balance and stamina. The whole attribute list can be found here, with highlights for areas I am particularly interested in for this experiment:

f68cb979b7f55e2e3c1e905009f9d788.png

My plan is to create some custom built, and possibly left-field, training schedules that will not only allow us to remain in an extremely competitive division but to also develop these attributes.

---

Some initial thoughts

I have a big squad. Much bigger than I'm used to. Therefore, I can, and will rotate and rotate heavily. This has a knock-on to the amount of intensity I can use in my schedules and means I will attempt to get three sessions a day in where possible.

I want as much work as I can on technical aspects of play as well as mental. I will leave free gaps for the specifics as we face certain opposition and ensure that we have schedules for 0,1 and 2 games per week.

It has been a long time since I've had a play with schedules and not something that I feel very confident with - but this is all about trying it out. I envisage unhappiness but I'll learn from it!

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Pre-Season

d0167e3f83cc2b9e8dc2ccfd1abe135d.png

The plan is to start every day with some ball work before then focusing on endurance. Our game plan does not require any more strength work than you'd get from individual schedules, which get worked on plenty with the unit work. I'll use pre-season to get a bit of a heads up on some set piece work and then ensure that we review the game and bond afterwards.

No Games

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Similarly to pre-season, I want to ensure we get time on the ball and the Possession schedule seems to hit that pretty well. I'm then mixing up some tactical work with a bit more set plays and then some match prep work for the future weeks.

One Game

0c76f5ba8f3c7f3afc219aa534a1a45e.png

Again - really big focus on units, with some technical and tactical work for attacking and defensive units. The third sessions are all pretty laid-back so they don't add too much intensity.

Two Games

9c609979671e1e3ee4f979c1e5aec71e.png

A lot more pulled back so we can play two games in a week. Still plenty of possession work an and technical work that hits those key intelligence attributes.

---

I want to look back at the end of the season and see whether this has had any kind of noticeable difference...

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6 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

June 2037: Affiliate Development

0ece4c5e87d49b30a44fc7d40ea942ec.png

I've also loaded Poland as playable and will hope to build some kind of stronghold of their youngsters...

They have really good academy, one of the biggest here in eastern Poland. Escola Varsovia and SMS Łódź are similar academies but better so don't hesitate if they appear on proposed affiliates list.

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Another amazing thread - always so inspiring.

Can you give us a snapshot of your mentoring groups and summarize your approach, I really find it hard to move the needle on players other than by the odd point here and there even over several years

 

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13 hours ago, Bigpole said:

They have really good academy, one of the biggest here in eastern Poland. Escola Varsovia and SMS Łódź are similar academies but better so don't hesitate if they appear on proposed affiliates list.

Ahhh, SMS Lodz. I knew there was a Polish team with a good academy that I'd tried to find before. Thanks for reminding me.

I have the Polish leagues loaded now - do you know if they'll ever produce players?

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13 hours ago, ifinnem said:

Another amazing thread - always so inspiring.

Can you give us a snapshot of your mentoring groups and summarize your approach, I really find it hard to move the needle on players other than by the odd point here and there even over several years

 

Many thanks!

Truth be told - I don't actually have any mentoring groups set up at the moment because I'm not introducing any one new into the team that has a personality which isn't acceptable and would actually benefit from it (I have a Light-Hearted player, for example, but he won't take anything from a mentoring group as he's too experienced/old/influential).

My end goal is always professionalism first and Determination second.

--

The first thing I do is add everyone to a 'test' group, like this. I can then match up who influences well and who will get influenced.

One thing I do like to do is change the frequency that my Assistant reports back about player development - I have set it to each week:

519ba3570ecd9c19a7b63709d2743af2.png

Sometimes it pops up to say x Player has been influenced and, I believethat means something under the hood has changed, even if their personality hasn't.

---

The key takeaway is that this is a long process and that I have sped things up by recruiting good personality players and staff to influence my own team. We also have a squad personality that matches what I want from the mentoring process. 

 

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Posted (edited)

July 2037: New Signing

f784c05f05e2f1a0bcccc4bf1225421b.png

Milo, an Amateur from Colorado Rush of the PDL Mountain Division, joins us on a free after a really good performance at the u20 World Cup, as seen below. His personality is amazing and he's reasonably decent attribute wise. He'll play u23 football for a bit whilst I work out exactly how I want to develop him.

8974ac553896265cf178d9f19251f76a.png

Edited by _Ben_
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1 hour ago, _Ben_ said:

Ahhh, SMS Lodz. I knew there was a Polish team with a good academy that I'd tried to find before. Thanks for reminding me.

I have the Polish leagues loaded now - do you know if they'll ever produce players?

I know that they have a few at the start of the databsase. But given the current bug with newgens not creating in inactive leagues, hard to tell if they will be in next intakes.

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July 2037: Mentoring 'loophole'

I'm not sure whether this is working as intended. I think it's @Seb Wassellwho works with this bit so I've tagged you to see if you know...

When I set up mentoring groups, I can only set it up for those who are part of the first teamWhen I ask my assistant to set them up, it appears that he can use players who are not in the first team but are training with the first team (as seen here - with Jackson Lowe in the u23 squad). I cannot find anywhere to add them myself in any drop down lists.

1436de119f23dba1aa381134ee7086f4.png

I'm delighted if it's intended to work like this but cannot find out the way to do this myself?!

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2037/38 Recruitment

9c3b04f4f54f9a4c9b3411598b266806.png

Ronan RooneyCian CoffeyEthan O'Reilly.

---

I'm really pleased with my foray into the transfer market this summer, although, after stealing their two best players, I feel Dundalk will be less so!

Rooney has been on my radar for some time and has been performing really well as a goalscoring midfielder for them, winning Irish Young Player of the Year but I will look to play him as a right back, given his ability on the ball. Likewise, Coffey was playing really well at Dundalk and adds some more depth to the centre of the defence - he cost just £145k, some £75k less than his compatriot. My only gripe about Coffey is his personality, but I'm hoping that he's mouldable enough to develop that under our tutelage. Lastly, I used my scouting knowledge to pick up O'Reilly from Crusaders on a free, unprotected contract. 

--

I am very happy with the quality and depth that I have at the club at the moment. I'll look to integrate younger talent into the team as we go along but there really isn't many areas that I either don't have quality in or don't have younger players in the academy who could be good enough to fill those areas:

caba15a0ca0410df3a8fdfec17198a64.png

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August 2037: Midlands Football

I haven't updated this for a while but this is where most of the local teams are playing:

aae869df80b32ce31e48ccd3a61bfa7f.png

  • Worcester have made some good progress are are now in the Vanarama National
  • Stratford funded a 15k seater stadium (50% larger than ours!) but have now dropped back to the regional level
  • Alvechurch had a good spell in the Vanarama North but have now just been relegated.
  • Coventry have been up and down a bit, as have Walsall.
  • Blues have finally made it back to the Premier League, ready for the first Second City Derby is absolutely ages!

---

I'd like to see a bit more here! 

My plan, when we are fully established and I've built up all my merchandise, youth feeders is to artificially add some of these local clubs as feeders to try and develop Midlands football, one of the aims of this save.

 

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August 2037: Creating a scouting network

Below is my current Recruitment set up, following the appointment of two Recruitment Analysts (never had them before - what do they even do?!)

1b91dd2f54f9bc60b7990a9afcda3167.png

I must admit to being a novice with recruitment - I massively favour my own academy and then just pick up offers/transfer listed players but I want to be the team that builds strong markets in nations. I'm in the process of bringing in scouts who match the nationalities/regions of where I want to focus on - even if that is a little pointless at the moment as I cannot scout outside of Europe..

My plan is to have 5 or 6 scouts based in the countries and the rest working on competitions being English based but able to move anywhere. 

My intended strong holds are:

  • Scotland - cheap due to lower reputation. Borders England.
  • N.Ireland - cheap. No work permit needed. Decent national team.
  • Ireland - cheap. Treated as non-foreign. Decent national team.
  • Poland - history of producing reasonably good players. Links with Redditch.
  • Caribbean - Cheap. Mostly English speaking. If not generated in English academy - there is potential for a real rough diamond.
  • North America - Amateur contracts. 'Generation Adidas' is a good link to high potential. English speaking.
  • Australia - English speaking and tends to settle well. Can be cheap. League rules seem to encourage younger players so they have some experience when they sign.

---

I' not au-fait with exactly how to set up the scouts as I normally delegate it but I've given Lorenc, Harvey and Hollywood access to their own nations and Eccleston has taken Scotland. I have added the country and the domestic competitions (in case they only saw senior matches) and 'Good' potential, like this:

25b9cbd6e5854c84fbc6d29213eced7f.png

---

Whilst I can only scout in Europe - the rest of the scouts will be going between a combination of youth competitions and being used for general recruitment needs. Time to see how this works out...

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August 2037: Scouting

Not one week after setting up, Stuart Harvey has found me this lad:

08454f68af519919b515c9233f64c63a.png

583a8abaf19b9e27f689d0dff454820c.png

He's not going to be an elite player, but for £17k?! This is exactly the kind of thing I'm after...

 

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I've read this from the start and can only echo everyone else's remarks in saying how good this thread is! and your previous threads of course!! 

I've taken away so much info in regards to mentoring, personality, individual training and general style of play to try implement (albeit somewhat haphazardly) into my own saves. 

Scouting has and always be an integral part of my saves, I don't find enjoyment in buying players from big teams in big nations and always have to scour the nations in the middle of nowhere. 

I see you've missed Wales from your list above, why is that? TNS or Cardiff Met Uni always produce a regen or two worthy of Premiership football for me, always cheap too. I signed a 5* PA player for Start from TNS for £15k. He's currently in the England U20 squad. 

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6 minutes ago, ToMexico!! said:

I've read this from the start and can only echo everyone else's remarks in saying how good this thread is! and your previous threads of course!! 

I've taken away so much info in regards to mentoring, personality, individual training and general style of play to try implement (albeit somewhat haphazardly) into my own saves. 

Scouting has and always be an integral part of my saves, I don't find enjoyment in buying players from big teams in big nations and always have to scour the nations in the middle of nowhere. 

I see you've missed Wales from your list above, why is that? TNS or Cardiff Met Uni always produce a regen or two worthy of Premiership football for me, always cheap too. I signed a 5* PA player for Start from TNS for £15k. He's currently in the England U20 squad. 

Thank you so much! I've been keeping up with your thread but got into the bad habit of reading on my phone and then not replying when on my laptop. It was your own screenshot of your scouting knowledge that really inspired me to look into it - but I am normally terrible at really recruiting youngsters - I either compete and sign for those who are noticeably quality or just develop my own. I want to find some rough diamonds here and development.

I have just had a look back at the Welsh lot and must agree that I've wrongly overlooked them. We have a couple of players in an around their various international squads and there is a lot more homegrown players there than I thought. I initially disregarded it thinking that anyone half decent will come through an English academy. Time to get a scout out there!

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4 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Thank you so much! I've been keeping up with your thread but got into the bad habit of reading on my phone and then not replying when on my laptop. It was your own screenshot of your scouting knowledge that really inspired me to look into it - but I am normally terrible at really recruiting youngsters - I either compete and sign for those who are noticeably quality or just develop my own. I want to find some rough diamonds here and development.

I have just had a look back at the Welsh lot and must agree that I've wrongly overlooked them. We have a couple of players in an around their various international squads and there is a lot more homegrown players there than I thought. I initially disregarded it thinking that anyone half decent will come through an English academy. Time to get a scout out there!

:thup:

I find that uncovering the rough diamond and nurturing them into the player you want gives me more satisfaction than buying a ready made replacement. Then selling them for profit and re-investing into more youth. 

I've just checked where my own scouts are and I had left it to Thiago (DoF) to assign them but he's done a poor job, I've changed it to the Chief Scout to see if he does a better job, if not I'll do it myself. I do a lot of manual searching myself then letting my scouts decide. 

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4 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

August 2037: Creating a scouting network

Below is my current Recruitment set up, following the appointment of two Recruitment Analysts (never had them before - what do they even do?!)

1b91dd2f54f9bc60b7990a9afcda3167.png

I must admit to being a novice with recruitment - I massively favour my own academy and then just pick up offers/transfer listed players but I want to be the team that builds strong markets in nations. I'm in the process of bringing in scouts who match the nationalities/regions of where I want to focus on - even if that is a little pointless at the moment as I cannot scout outside of Europe..

My plan is to have 5 or 6 scouts based in the countries and the rest working on competitions being English based but able to move anywhere. 

My intended strong holds are:

  • Scotland - cheap due to lower reputation. Borders England.
  • N.Ireland - cheap. No work permit needed. Decent national team.
  • Ireland - cheap. Treated as non-foreign. Decent national team.
  • Poland - history of producing reasonably good players. Links with Redditch.
  • Caribbean - Cheap. Mostly English speaking. If not generated in English academy - there is potential for a real rough diamond.
  • North America - Amateur contracts. 'Generation Adidas' is a good link to high potential. English speaking.
  • Australia - English speaking and tends to settle well. Can be cheap. League rules seem to encourage younger players so they have some experience when they sign.

---

I' not au-fait with exactly how to set up the scouts as I normally delegate it but I've given Lorenc, Harvey and Hollywood access to their own nations and Eccleston has taken Scotland. I have added the country and the domestic competitions (in case they only saw senior matches) and 'Good' potential, like this:

25b9cbd6e5854c84fbc6d29213eced7f.png

---

Whilst I can only scout in Europe - the rest of the scouts will be going between a combination of youth competitions and being used for general recruitment needs. Time to see how this works out...

In general, do you find that scouts with good personalities discover players with good personalities?  I struggle with scouting which is why I'm playing more and more "youth only" saves since it requires zero scouting.

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4 hours ago, ToMexico!! said:

:thup:

I find that uncovering the rough diamond and nurturing them into the player you want gives me more satisfaction than buying a ready made replacement. Then selling them for profit and re-investing into more youth. 

I've just checked where my own scouts are and I had left it to Thiago (DoF) to assign them but he's done a poor job, I've changed it to the Chief Scout to see if he does a better job, if not I'll do it myself. I do a lot of manual searching myself then letting my scouts decide. 

It certainly does, but the signing a rough diamond and nurturing them does give me less satisfaction than developing my own, but that needs to change if I want to compete at the highest level.

I'm trying to move away from manual stuff at the moment and be in a place whereby I have my list (of players that have been scouted) but not really access to all players in the scouting area as, even with developments over the past few years, I don't feel that it's particularly realistic. 

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4 hours ago, Nottingham Forest said:

Now we’re talking. One of the best parts of a game as you progress further in. Finding some hidden gems. I often as time goes on have scouts to look for under 24s. I try to set them so they scout a nation they’re used to.

Yep - hence me getting a Polish, Jamaican, American and Canadian scout in specially for that update. I'm really rusty with recruitment as my games tend to just end as Youth Only, but this is something I want to play around with!

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1 hour ago, keeper#1 said:

In general, do you find that scouts with good personalities discover players with good personalities?  I struggle with scouting which is why I'm playing more and more "youth only" saves since it requires zero scouting.

Great question! 

I have absolutely no idea but I'd love to know. You'd think that a better person would be better suited to finding other better people, wouldn't you? It'd be very hard to run a test on things as there are a load of variables under the hood but it might be something I have a little look at - maybe with just a small scale, such as English youth scouting, for example.

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16 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Yep - hence me getting a Polish, Jamaican, American and Canadian scout in specially for that update. I'm really rusty with recruitment as my games tend to just end as Youth Only, but this is something I want to play around with!

You’re going to have so much fun when it comes to moulding a player to how you like them to be. It wouldn’t surprise me to see you catch a player and turn him into a model citizen and best player in the game.

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August/September 2037

79cab09f68a91e454f041b5b7d45e734.png

I'll happily end the season right now, to be fair.

I must be a little concerned at our leaky defence (1.5 gA/90 this year compared to 1.1 last year and 1.2 the year before), which puts us into the leaky category. However, we have just played two of three relegated teams, Watford and Brighton, as well as having a shocker at the Riverside Juninho Paulista Arena against Boro.

Not a lot else to recap here really: the scouting team are out and working, mentoring is continuing as normal, I've got some youngsters who've moved out on loan and things are just ticking over. I'm happy.

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October 2037: Recruitment find...

90a31032884be7e6c807c064d222640e.png

I don't know how a 5'4" could be playing at centre back but this lad now becomes my main target - considering I am not blessed with huge depth at left back.

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17 minutes ago, Nottingham Forest said:

Initial thoughts, he looks good.

Also, solid start to season.

Thanks.

Yeah - I quite like him.

I'm trying to build a shortlist of players found through the recruitment, then getting them scouting to 100% before whittling down to fit attributes and other things I want. This is pretty alien to me really so I'll try and put into words my thoughts as I go through this part of the game.

Here are three I'm in the process of working through:

9c449d52881553535287b14bd941d624.png

  • Not currently interested
  • Like his passing to play as an IWB
  • Doesn't speak English
  • Consistent and adaptable to moving to England.
  • Professional personality

 74f343d452b8b4f43ee55ad3a282a02e.png

  • Not interested - Arsenal are favourites to sign him
  • Lacking Determination
  • Balanced personality and Outspoken/Volatile so most hidden attributes are poor.
  • Already got international recognition
  • Also a good passer
  • Very small

 5ac8b06bb2fc1efbd4fb6ca159a2c018.png

  • Dual national so no WP
  • Lacking concentration at the moment
  • Significantly lower ability than the other two.
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3 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Great question! 

I have absolutely no idea but I'd love to know. You'd think that a better person would be better suited to finding other better people, wouldn't you? It'd be very hard to run a test on things as there are a load of variables under the hood but it might be something I have a little look at - maybe with just a small scale, such as English youth scouting, for example.

I'm thinking the same thing.  A scout, especially a player who has become a scout, would be able to spot a player who displays the same off the field qualities that the scout had as a player.  Assuming that the scout does both on the field and off the field research on the player.  As a result, they would "weed out" the poor personality (low determination, casual, slack, etc.) players.

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9 hours ago, keeper#1 said:

I'm thinking the same thing.  A scout, especially a player who has become a scout, would be able to spot a player who displays the same off the field qualities that the scout had as a player.  Assuming that the scout does both on the field and off the field research on the player.  As a result, they would "weed out" the poor personality (low determination, casual, slack, etc.) players.

I've got a Model Citizen scout so I'll pick up a negative personality and set them out on the same assignment. I'll get back to you...

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October/November 2037

d0c3ae37adc49d46039bf4a8432b35a6.png

A little inconsistent but we seem to have gone a little way to sorting the leaky defence and have made some good offensive performances, too.

We managed to put a nice little run together at the start of the month, beating WBA and surprise package Plymouth (wouldn't it be just as weird to see them in the EPL as it would Redditch?! However, it's nice to see the South West represented well as it's one of the few areas worse than the Midlands in terms of quality of football). We have lost three out of the last five and that's annoyed me - particularly against 22nd place Swansea but to be sitting in a playoff position as we near the halfway mark massive beats my initial expectations.

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Our training schedule has been going for four months now and, whilst I'm having to use the 'Send on Holiday' button quite regularly (which does need addressing), the overall injury list is not too different:

f8e26a0620cc71739a4918c620e7c054.png

I'll continue to monitor this as we go through as I think the intensity is too high but we'll see.

---

Ollie Weaver, who clearly has never had a shave, has cemented himself as my first choice goalkeeper, which is great and Anthoneil has made good progress too, now being considered potentially a Premier League standard player in the future.

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December 2037: Youth Intake Preview

bc42a76c4b0d5435bb16cebc0ed4b73c.png

I wonder how much the HoYD has to do with the positions from the intakes because I am so fed up of getting goalkeepers through my intake - considering you can literally play one of them and they have a really long life-span as they'll play much longer than an outfield player. This is my current GK depth:

ea87e35738ceb78dfb08fc4e2cb18483.png

---

I mentioned it last time but I think I'm certainly going to change the HoYD for next season...

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On 01/01/2021 at 16:37, _Ben_ said:

When I ask my assistant to set them up, it appears that he can use players who are not in the first team but are training with the first team (as seen here - with Jackson Lowe in the u23 squad). I cannot find anywhere to add them myself in any drop down lists.

I'm delighted if it's intended to work like this but cannot find out the way to do this myself?!

If you select U23s/U18s in your first eleven or your bench without promoting them, you can select them in mentoring. I am not sure if the mentoring actually works, I haven't tested it out.

Love this save. You have inspired me in my Folkestone-save.

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7 hours ago, DrammenBlade said:

If you select U23s/U18s in your first eleven or your bench without promoting them, you can select them in mentoring. I am not sure if the mentoring actually works, I haven't tested it out.

Love this save. You have inspired me in my Folkestone-save. 

My issue was is that I cannot select them yet my assistant manager can. I'd really like to be able to do so - especially as they are essentially 'part of the first team' by training with them (and that's where the mentoring happens) but was unsure...

Thanks for the kind words - make sure you get a thread up about your save.

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21 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

December 2037: Youth Intake Preview

 

I wonder how much the HoYD has to do with the positions from the intakes because I am so fed up of getting goalkeepers through my intake - considering you can literally play one of them and they have a really long life-span as they'll play much longer than an outfield player. This is my current GK depth:

Is it not something that will be coded it, as otherwise the intake vs U18s game would be a waste of time, with the intake having to put some random DR in goal.

This way there is always a GK available for that game,  it it does mean a logjam builds up, and it is harder to develop them.

 

The only ways I can thing of to solve it are to 

a) make the GK different in terms of intake game, so you select any GK at the club for their team, but only at GK

b) have the intake game be like the Trialist game that you can be invited to, where you can mix and match. So you have to option to sit down with the HoYD and U18s manager before the game, like the recruitment meeting now, and say ‘I want to see x played here’, or ‘w looks like he would make a nice partner for a, let’s try it out’, an the game has a mix of intake players and U18s on each side

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21 hours ago, LATB said:

Yeah - the less said about this, the better!

13 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Is it not something that will be coded it, as otherwise the intake vs U18s game would be a waste of time, with the intake having to put some random DR in goal.

This way there is always a GK available for that game,  it it does mean a logjam builds up, and it is harder to develop them.

Yeah - I didn't word that too well. I meant that I wonder if my HoYD has a preference for bringing through GKs as four or five have been the better players of late. I wonder if I brought in a HoYD who was more attacking by nature, that this would maybe stop?

I do really like your ideas and I think that the trialist game/the whole youth intake side can definitely be hugely improved going forward...

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Mate, I have read this thread for the past hours. Phenomenal, Outstanding. It has been hard to not comment on posts because I knew it would seem out of place to comment on something that happened back in 2026 while you to my (lack) of knowledge could have been in the Champions League by then lol. 

 

well, I am caught up now so I guess I will read your other threads from FM20 lol

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8 hours ago, HurkaDurk69 said:

Mate, I have read this thread for the past hours. Phenomenal, Outstanding. It has been hard to not comment on posts because I knew it would seem out of place to comment on something that happened back in 2026 while you to my (lack) of knowledge could have been in the Champions League by then lol. 

 

well, I am caught up now so I guess I will read your other threads from FM20 lol

Many, many thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

We are nowhere near the CL yet, sadly! But, ask away with your questions...

I hope you find the older stuff fun to read - sadly, a lot of what I used to post has got lost in the abyss of the Internet and I only started posting here for FM19.

6 hours ago, LATB said:

@_Ben_ I just thought, was it you who years ago had a Vitoria Setubal save that you documented on the dugout website?

It was! What a good memory you must have! I remember a striker called Cristiano who was lethal at the time before becoming a DLP as he aged. That was a fun save! What was your username on TD?

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December 2037/January 2038

927a6854ce625a239e0c3e931cf10d4a.png

Still hanging on to that playoff spot!

2b3ec8556296276f73333290a3017434.png

The board, also, are pretty happy with how we are doing.

We've been largely good over these last two months and, Ferencik, as you can see below, has really hit a good patch of form. This does confirm the reliance we have on him but he also recently signed a new deal; a £5k increase on his old £15k p/w deal that keeps him here until 2041. We've been a little hot and cold - going from a comprehensive xG win (and goal win) to a really dour performance but have faced some tough opposition in Derby and Newcastle with Brighton, too, a really strong team to face even if they are underperforming. It is also really nice to see Plymouth still going strong, even if their wins have dried up a little lately.

I must say that, despite our lofty position right now, we are still a long way from having a squad that is suitable to challenge for promotion.

9d77373872a0b07d6cc5415e710f91ad.png

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I made one signing in January, and that was the £40k purchase of Billy Hendry from Hibs. This was largely to see which countries would allow u18 transfer moves. He could be decent but he's not at the top of my priorities to develop. However, the below four players are:

d5a1e39ee82a9a6fb855353c43f65327.png

Mason StokesJordon RobertsAnthoneil ChanceHunter Maddison

I'm really excited about the development of the above lads and they've all joined in the first team training, with Stokes and Chance benefitting from mentoring groups. I currently have Stokes training to be a CF(a) with a focus on Attacking Movement - which is pretty generic for players like him. Roberts, too, takes a BPD(d) and Defensive Positioning and Maddison has HB(d)/Defensive Positioning as they both just need to grow the attributes they have. However, Chance is training as an MC with the RPM(s)/Defensive Positioning combo as I look to really work on his ball playing ability. The majority of the FB/WB roles really focus on pace and that is not an area I particularly want, as they don't make overlapping runs - therefore, providing they are quick enough to get themselves back into defensive shape, I'm happy but there are several MC roles that focus on his playmaking ability (and the IWB does, essentially, become a MC) so I'm using those. I'm aware that I will take a CA hit through the re-weighting of key attributes but I have no real need for him to play there, just train there. It is worth noting that first choice full backs Haywood and Glasscoe are also training more creative central roles, too.

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Love this thread mate, the level of detail you go into is unrivaled.

Just out of curiosity, how did you manage to get Redditch into the National League North as of the second season? Just because I know they are further down in the pyramid. 

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9 minutes ago, ShaunG95 said:

Love this thread mate, the level of detail you go into is unrivaled.

Just out of curiosity, how did you manage to get Redditch into the National League North as of the second season? Just because I know they are further down in the pyramid. 

Thank you!

They're not any further down! Well, they should be, but they're not! They play in the Southern Football League Premier Central Division, the league directly below the Vanarama North/South, however, when COVID-19 ended the 2019/20 season, it saved them from relegation:

a9f5bd72705ab16a2e9e5fde4f47ee55.png

Eight games in to this season, they are currently in 6th, just outside the playoffs, but I really doubt the season will be finished!

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3 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Thank you!

They're not any further down! Well, they should be, but they're not! They play in the Southern Football League Premier Central Division, the league directly below the Vanarama North/South, however, when COVID-19 ended the 2019/20 season, it saved them from relegation:

a9f5bd72705ab16a2e9e5fde4f47ee55.png

Eight games in to this season, they are currently in 6th, just outside the playoffs, but I really doubt the season will be finished!

Oh right, my bad! Did you just save the day before it confirmed which teams were promoted until it was Redditch so you could control them or did you use the tier 10 database?

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22 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Yeah - the less said about this, the better!

Yeah - I didn't word that too well. I meant that I wonder if my HoYD has a preference for bringing through GKs as four or five have been the better players of late. I wonder if I brought in a HoYD who was more attacking by nature, that this would maybe stop?

I do really like your ideas and I think that the trialist game/the whole youth intake side can definitely be hugely improved going forward...

Wonder if it has anything to do with the quality of your coaches (at each level of squad - main, U23, u18) and if they shape things too.  I would assume they shouldn't, but that doesn't mean they don't

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1 hour ago, ShaunG95 said:

Oh right, my bad! Did you just save the day before it confirmed which teams were promoted until it was Redditch so you could control them or did you use the tier 10 database?

I tried! About 30 times actually! But then I gave up and used the save game from the first post in the Dafuge thread.

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1 hour ago, scousevasey said:

Wonder if it has anything to do with the quality of your coaches (at each level of squad - main, U23, u18) and if they shape things too.  I would assume they shouldn't, but that doesn't mean they don't

Some more good points...

My coaching setup is probably favouring Goalkeepers, to be fair:

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But my HoYD, Bobby Hassell, was not a goalkeeper in his career, nor is he a good GK coach. I'll see if I can address that balance and see what happens then...

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2038 Youth Intake

5402c8ca0eed52e8567e46991a219368.png

Excel CA AnalysisNationality TrackerIntake Tracker.

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[GK] Luca Box

[LB] Seb Bello

[CM] Harry Curran

[AML] Dani Ejza

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An interesting intake, which is, Intelligence-wise at least, considerably stronger than what I've had over the past few years. Whilst it doesn't necessarily have a standout player, the above four players look like they could potentially be decent with Romanian-born, yet Canadian, Harry Curran looking to be a bit of an all-action midfielder and Dani Ejza having a little bit of a spark about him from the wing. It is also worth noting that he comes from Biala Podlaska, the same town as the affiliate I set up this year - however, this apparently isn't from their academy - coincidence?!

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