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[FM21] Hometown Heroes


_Ben_
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1 hour ago, Nottingham Forest said:

Weirdly, I have. I dislike managing abroad but a few years ago. FM13 I was struggling from FM burnout so decided to try rancer890’s Asian challenge. 
 

Decided to go to Indonesia and it’s my longest FM save to date as I got to 2072 iirc. It’s also my second most enjoyable save after the Billericay save. I’ve gone back to the All Whites save now. It’s very basic and you’d do a lot of frowning as we’re not playing nice football and I’ve got no respect for finances. But we’ll see if it leads to anywhere.

I'm a fan of nice football and financial prudency but one of these days I really need to knuckle down and add the realism of a journeyman type save into my game - sometimes those things then are just not possible!

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March 2041: The CONSISTENCY project

So just getting started in to this - there are a few things I want to find out.

  • Does Consistency raise massively as a player ages?
  • Does Important Matches raise massively as a player ages?
  • What level is good for these values?

Before I get to my own club - I decided to make use of the editor to have a look at my database. I have ticked the 'show all players in player search' button and collated a bit of data for every player within my game world. For reference - there are about 6,900 15-18 year olds, 29,200 19-23 year olds, 23,000 24-30 year olds and about 8300 players over the age of 30. Here is what I found:

11e2a8aff814244bc727850a7cfc0627.png

911056a916e7a0ee8acf3189159dba98.png

Obviously - this does not track players through their career, but the game has been running long enough for newgens to come in, develop and then retire so I feel that it's reasonably accurate. You can see that there is the biggest rise in value between 15-18 and 19-23 for both hidden attributes and, whether we are just in a hotbed of consistent and good players in their early twenties at this point of the game, I do not know - or whether this is their early peak. It is interesting to see that these attributes don't appear to continue to rise the more games that are played because, as you can see below, the biggest jump in attribute value matches the biggest jump in number of games:

1e826720f4eecc99cd8850b52a0c56ab.png

---

This is nothing ground-breaking nor unexpected - players under 18 will play and be less consistent. However, I'd definitely have had that older age group as consistent, experienced pros - but maybe that isn't the case! My thoughts here are that if I can get my players to a) perform consistently in those early games and b) experience important matches in that time too, then this will give them the best chance to improve. Next, I want to have a look at how much those attributes can grow.

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March 2041: The CONSISTENCY project Part 2

Because I'm clearly not tired enough to sleep, yet...

I created a shortlist of 96 players aged between 19 and 24 and (taking the top rated value in the world) from my 2041 save. I then exported that shortlist, went back to 2036, loaded it and compared the data. Here is what I've found:

cd3f6111316bb51c9ad27a2fa9032663.png

These are top players, clearly. To have averaged 43 games by an average age of 17.6 means you're pretty good. That is, I believe, linked to a really good starting score for Consistency and Important Matches (some 2.39 point higher than the 15-18 category for all data in Consistency and 1.4 in Important Matches). Interestingly, consistency seems to grow much more than Important Matches and it appears, based on individual player growth, that these attributes do not decrease:

ef2c16d52789d760c28959bca558e507.png

None of these players have got less consistent or worse at big matches, but clearly some haven't got any better at them. Which is interesting.

---

Lots more to think about this. My one big question, I guess, is that - if you are inconsistent, are you any good? How does the AI deal with inconsistent players - are they winning the Balon D'Or or are those players more consistent? I'll do some more analysis at a later date before trying to come up with some rules and guidelines for what I want to see and do in my own team. 

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2 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

2041 Youth Intake

0467d22822e0f684c77721a5176f28bd.png

Intake AnalyserNationality Tracker

----

I'm scaling back the Excel analysis for a little while as I want to build something new and improved. However, I can't help but feel incredibly underwhelmed at this group with very few players really catching my eye. However, I do have a radical plan (stolen from @Makoto Nakamuraand his St.Buryan save):

I'm pondering turning the Youth Recruitment all the way back to 1 (it is currently 19).

  • This is Hometown Heroes. Three players here are from Redditch. Just three of the first team are from Redditch (and one from Bromsgrove, ~4 miles away)
  • Even at the start, when my YR was terrible, I'd get those dual nationalities, which I like. I'm hoping feeder clubs will come into play when the board allows.
  • My Youth Recruitment is Exceptional and now there is a broad range of players from all over England coming through.
  • IF YR is more important that YF and JC, then I'll lose out here. If not, then I'll still get good CA newgens (JC) and good PA newgens (YF) just from a much smaller pool.

My only questions are for experienced Youth Only players like @Jimbokav1971 who have studied this kind of thing in more detail than I. Is it worth it? Am I going to get 75% of the intake from Redditch but, as a town with under 100,000 people - a group of players who just aren't good enough for the Premier League or does FM bend the rules slightly so that it fits?

Apologies. I haven't been keeping up to date with your thread so I don't know what stage you are at with anything. 

I'm a little bit confused with what you are suggesting. 

Your Youth Recruitment is currently L19, but you don't like the recent intake, (and possible multiple recent intakes), so you are considering reducing the Youth Recruitment down to L1 in the hope that you get non-English players coming through as foreigners, (or with ENG as 2nd Nationality)? 

I need to know what level you are at to answer that properly, however despite feeling exactly the same way in my Irchester save in FM20, (I had some great players come through before we made the football league), I'd bet that when I look you are in the Football League already and so your Pro status is going to have an impact on this. (The decent foreigners or 2nd Nationality foreigners stopped arriving after I turned Pro).

Ok. So as expected you are a Pro club and you are in the Football League, (Championship to be precise). I personally think that you should do it, (drop from L19 to L1), but you should save before you do so and only run it as an experiment. I personally don't think it will give you what you want because I don't think you are going to be given these FGN players in the volume that you were before, (assuming that the volume was similar to mine in FM20 when I was at Irchester). You should absolutely try it, but on the basis that when it doesn't work you go back and re-load the save from the saved point and then go again from there with L19. 

I remember that by the end of my Irchester save in FM20, (I got to the Premier League but I don't think I played in Europe), there were hardly any "local" players coming through the intake, (but then again Irchester has a population of approx 5,000 so a LOT smaller than Redditch). I was getting occasional players from Wellingborough, Rushden, Kettering and Northampton, but very few actually from the village by the end of the save, I think if you reduced the Youth Recruitment down to a level where you would limit the scope of where your players were being scouted from, (and yes I believe that scouting and knowledge also plays a part in it irrespective of Youth Rating), then while you might be able to engineer where more of the players originate from, you would pay the price in terms of significantly reduced quality. 

I wonder if part of the problem might be perception rather than actual quality, in that yeah I know this last intake looks pants, (2x 3.5 players), the truth is we know that's a load of old Michael Ballacks and either player could be a 5.0 PA player for all you know. I notice that you use the Editor for some things, but at the same time guess that you aren't looking at player PA's when they come through the intake. Maybe that's something you might consider doing just until you get a handle on what level of players you are actually producing rather than what sort of players you think you are producing. 

I'm just going to go back and have a look at the last page or so in your thread so I can find out what's going on. 

It seems you are signing players, but I'm guessing that you have a set number of Academy players that you want to play regularly or something like that? I seem to remember you being keen on focussing on a group of "local" clubs based around the West Midlands, (possibly a smaller area than that), so rather than HG at club players, maybe they are HG at local area or something like that? Is that right? 

1 thing I would say looking at your recent posts is..... Ignore Youth Intake Previews. I mean COMPLETELY IGNORE THEM. Just go to the intake itself and see what you've got and go from there. The preview is a complete waste of time. 

I also see you sacked your HoYD because of the poor quality of intakes. I'm guessing that you were just frustrated and willing to try anything, because I think that the HoYD has very little impact on the actual quality of the intakes in terms of CA/PA, (and we are usually on the same page on stuff like that, but maybe you have other ideas?)

About a third of the way down page 15 you comment on the 2040 intake and in particular that Dean Rodgers was the player bigged up by the HoYD, but he was nowhere near the top of the pile..... The PA Pile. I notice that you don't even include CA on the Youth Intake screen and I bet that if you did you would have seen that while his PA was pants, his CA, (relative to te rest of the intake), was decent. 

Loving the personalities coming through your intakes as usual by the way. :applause:

I'm not sure where Alex Villanueva comes from. Did he come through the intake somewhere in the Black Country? :confused: I really need to read this whole thread. :lol:

I think the average age of your squad is contributing to your problems at the moment. Of course they are going to be inconsistent and choke in the big games. Rather than wondering about it you should assume it's going to happen, but at the same time know that every time they lose a big game they are taking 1 step towards being better at bug games. 

My advice is that you should relax about getting promoted and just enjoy developing the players for a couple of seasons. Sell the juiciest prospects to find the club if need be, but keep working towards that long term goal. 

I have used the Editor to track things in the game and I think it's a reasonable tool, but while it's great for learning about how the game works, it absolutely does cheapen things a little even if you only really look at it for the experiment and are quite rigid about trying not to exploit it. As much as I have enjoyed saves where I have looked at CA and PA of players coming through the intake, I'm much happier just blindly bumbling along in the dark. 

I will be back to read the whole thread soon. :thup:

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March 2041: The CONSISTENCY project Part 3

Ok, I'm on a role. A short one here before I wrap up my thoughts in another post. I've taken the top 100 players with certain World Reputations to see if their Consistency and Important Matches differs:

19716a95a3dcde5cbdf7baba48c1c767.png

Yes there is quite a difference. Top (reputation) players are far more consistent than poor (reputation) players but the gap for Important Matches is smaller.

---

This is really interesting and gives me some ideas for how to bring this into my player development...

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Wow. Thanks @Jimbokav1971 a lot to dissect here!

8 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Your Youth Recruitment is currently L19, but you don't like the recent intake, (and possible multiple recent intakes), so you are considering reducing the Youth Recruitment down to L1 in the hope that you get non-English players coming through as foreigners, (or with ENG as 2nd Nationality)? 

No. I want more players from Redditch in the intakes. I want to feel as if the club is investing in the people of the town to get them through the ranks.

8 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I wonder if part of the problem might be perception rather than actual quality, in that yeah I know this last intake looks pants, (2x 3.5 players), the truth is we know that's a load of old Michael Ballacks and either player could be a 5.0 PA player for all you know. I notice that you use the Editor for some things, but at the same time guess that you aren't looking at player PA's when they come through the intake. Maybe that's something you might consider doing just until you get a handle on what level of players you are actually producing rather than what sort of players you think you are producing. 

My intakes have been good, actually. It's not the fact I was unhappy with what I last had - more that the idea had piqued my interest. My squad is predominantly youth players from my academy, which is great but it does lack the hometown theme I'm going for.

9 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

It seems you are signing players, but I'm guessing that you have a set number of Academy players that you want to play regularly or something like that? I seem to remember you being keen on focussing on a group of "local" clubs based around the West Midlands, (possibly a smaller area than that), so rather than HG at club players, maybe they are HG at local area or something like that? Is that right? 

Yep - it was all about making the Midlands a hotbed for talent and, further down the line, improving the standard of other clubs here.

10 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

1 thing I would say looking at your recent posts is..... Ignore Youth Intake Previews. I mean COMPLETELY IGNORE THEM. Just go to the intake itself and see what you've got and go from there. The preview is a complete waste of time. 

Agreed. Got into the habit of posting, speculating and then getting confused!

10 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I also see you sacked your HoYD because of the poor quality of intakes. I'm guessing that you were just frustrated and willing to try anything, because I think that the HoYD has very little impact on the actual quality of the intakes in terms of CA/PA, (and we are usually on the same page on stuff like that, but maybe you have other ideas?)

I mainly wanted the M.Citizen part of him! I was questioning whether his style was the reason I was getting so many goalkeepers and full backs but I don't think I can answer that definitively.

11 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Loving the personalities coming through your intakes as usual by the way. :applause:

Getting there! 

11 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I'm not sure where Alex Villanueva comes from. Did he come through the intake somewhere in the Black Country? :confused: I really need to read this whole thread. :lol:

No, I brought him from Sporting Gijon but he didn't learn English in a year and a half and didn't fit in with the professional lads, so I shipped him off!

12 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I think the average age of your squad is contributing to your problems at the moment. Of course they are going to be inconsistent and choke in the big games. Rather than wondering about it you should assume it's going to happen, but at the same time know that every time they lose a big game they are taking 1 step towards being better at bug games. 

My advice is that you should relax about getting promoted and just enjoy developing the players for a couple of seasons. Sell the juiciest prospects to find the club if need be, but keep working towards that long term goal. 

Definitely the plan!

12 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I have used the Editor to track things in the game and I think it's a reasonable tool, but while it's great for learning about how the game works, it absolutely does cheapen things a little even if you only really look at it for the experiment and are quite rigid about trying not to exploit it. As much as I have enjoyed saves where I have looked at CA and PA of players coming through the intake, I'm much happier just blindly bumbling along in the dark. 

I agree. I have the editor because I wanted to make little changes, like change the stadium name, alter any ridiculous first names (how many Keith's and Brian's do you know that are 16?!) but I want to strike the right balance between showing some hidden stats to demonstrate and learn about how the game processes them and, as you say, exploiting the game by knowing them.

---

Let me know when you've read some more - I love the thought/depth/rambling you've put into this reply!

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16 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I remember that by the end of my Irchester save in FM20, (I got to the Premier League but I don't think I played in Europe), there were hardly any "local" players coming through the intake, (but then again Irchester has a population of approx 5,000 so a LOT smaller than Redditch). I was getting occasional players from Wellingborough, Rushden, Kettering and Northampton, but very few actually from the village by the end of the save, I think if you reduced the Youth Recruitment down to a level where you would limit the scope of where your players were being scouted from, (and yes I believe that scouting and knowledge also plays a part in it irrespective of Youth Rating), then while you might be able to engineer where more of the players originate from, you would pay the price in terms of significantly reduced quality. 

To add on...

This is the most important one for me. So let's compare Redditch and Birmingham.

Redditch has a population of around 100,000, whereas Birmingham is 1.15m. If I had to pick 16 16-year olds a year to enter the youth team from only that place - clearly there'd be more quality to chose from in Birmingham. However, I was wondering whether you knew if FM sees it like that? Surely there are some big clubs from tiny places around the world that will still get good intakes, despite a small population. 

What I'd expect, if I was to reduce the YC, is to get loads of poor players from Redditch - whereas if I was based in Birmingham, I'd expect to still get some good ones as the pool is much bigger. I wonder if FM works like that or just assigns the 'Place of Birth' as a secondary thought after looking at YC, JC, YF, reputation etc?

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The study you did was very interesting. I thought the consistency increases more as you get older and instead levels off almost immediately. Also interesting to note how it varies based on reputation, I had never taken it into consideration.

I believe that it still varies a lot from the actual time played, I remember in this thread when you took a 24 year old player, theoretically out of development age, but he grew up anyway from playing continuously. Here is this, having played little up to that moment with the experience of the match he was able to grow. This happens in my opinion with young people. In the sense that they start with lower mental values than the competition, have little consistency and have little experience in the game. I have noticed how the leap in quality is often made at 21-22 and they become complete players.

Another element that might be considered is when you are told that they have to play higher level games. They have reached the limit and need to raise the bar to improve.

 

I conclude by saying that, however, your structures, not to the maximum, influence growth a bit. So maybe the kid's mental growth could be faster with better structures and thus be more reliable in the game with better structures.

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10 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

March 2041: The CONSISTENCY project Part 2

Because I'm clearly not tired enough to sleep, yet...

I created a shortlist of 96 players aged between 19 and 24 and (taking the top rated value in the world) from my 2041 save. I then exported that shortlist, went back to 2036, loaded it and compared the data. Here is what I've found:

cd3f6111316bb51c9ad27a2fa9032663.png

These are top players, clearly. To have averaged 43 games by an average age of 17.6 means you're pretty good. That is, I believe, linked to a really good starting score for Consistency and Important Matches (some 2.39 point higher than the 15-18 category for all data in Consistency and 1.4 in Important Matches). Interestingly, consistency seems to grow much more than Important Matches and it appears, based on individual player growth, that these attributes do not decrease:

ef2c16d52789d760c28959bca558e507.png

None of these players have got less consistent or worse at big matches, but clearly some haven't got any better at them. Which is interesting.

---

Lots more to think about this. My one big question, I guess, is that - if you are inconsistent, are you any good? How does the AI deal with inconsistent players - are they winning the Balon D'Or or are those players more consistent? I'll do some more analysis at a later date before trying to come up with some rules and guidelines for what I want to see and do in my own team. 

Mate thank you for this, I have always heard that consistency grows but not important matches but I have a **** poor laptop so I haven't done any testing on this

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10 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Let me know when you've read some more - I love the thought/depth/rambling you've put into this reply!

Haha. Some of it was useless based on what I read after/during, but the effort you put into your saves and thread deserves a proper response whenever I'm available. 

You've really made me think about the "experiment" of reducing YR and it keeps popping back into my mind. The fact that I'm still thinking about it means that I'm not 100% sure, (whatever I said last night), and my immediate reaction is.... "why haven't I done this experiment?"

The truth is that it and others are often on my mind, but what happens is that I enjoy a save, get invested in it and then don't want to "cheapen" the save by doing too much with the editor. 

I wouldn't dream of doing it with my current club AC Oulu, but I wonder would it be worthwhile doing it with Stjarnan? The problem with that is that I don't want skew the results there because I'm prioritising the signing of players from my old clubs.. 

In hindsight, I would have selected a club in Scandinavia to monitor purely for experimental purposes and just not ever bought a player produced by their Academy as a way to keep the save.... true. Hindsight eh. :rolleyes:

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On 01/01/2021 at 13:50, _Ben_ said:

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

 

 

A really dumb question, but how do you change this? I can't figure it out

Btw, I'm a long time lurker - have been absolutely loving this thread, it's inspiring! Has made me start a LLM save, which is more infuriating but interesting than my usual Crystal Palace save. Thanks for the spreadsheets and inspiration!

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4 hours ago, Bot Makel said:

The study you did was very interesting. I thought the consistency increases more as you get older and instead levels off almost immediately. Also interesting to note how it varies based on reputation, I had never taken it into consideration.

I believe that it still varies a lot from the actual time played, I remember in this thread when you took a 24 year old player, theoretically out of development age, but he grew up anyway from playing continuously. Here is this, having played little up to that moment with the experience of the match he was able to grow. This happens in my opinion with young people. In the sense that they start with lower mental values than the competition, have little consistency and have little experience in the game. I have noticed how the leap in quality is often made at 21-22 and they become complete players.

Another element that might be considered is when you are told that they have to play higher level games. They have reached the limit and need to raise the bar to improve.

 

I conclude by saying that, however, your structures, not to the maximum, influence growth a bit. So maybe the kid's mental growth could be faster with better structures and thus be more reliable in the game with better structures.

Thank you!

It has certainly and, probably expectedly, raised more questions than answers! I'm hoping that I can find a plan similar to how I do with my own youth development so that I improve this the best I can knowing that I can't 'game it' and ensure I always get the results.

That initial game time seems to be the biggest driver in consistency increases but I'm wondering how much that is a contributor to playing at their PA once they reach it.

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2 hours ago, HurkaDurk69 said:

Mate thank you for this, I have always heard that consistency grows but not important matches but I have a **** poor laptop so I haven't done any testing on this

No worries! I've got a few more tests lined up over the next days as I really try to dig down. My biggest thing is how the AI develop player consistency and enjoyment of big matches because, as with most games, I can probably do it better!

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19 minutes ago, beardymouse said:

A really dumb question, but how do you change this? I can't figure it out

Btw, I'm a long time lurker - have been absolutely loving this thread, it's inspiring! Has made me start a LLM save, which is more infuriating but interesting than my usual Crystal Palace save. Thanks for the spreadsheets and inspiration!

No worries!

Staff > Responsibilities > Advice and Reports and then this:

6f87ce81d1e47b1d28c355e3d4ef51b1.png

As for the kind words about my save - I must say a massive thank you! I've been put off managing in England for so long as the save really comes to life at the League One/Championship level in terms of player development etc but I must say that the 10/12 years to get there has only made more invested in it. If I can start at this level with any team, I'm sure I'd be able to class myself as a 'supporter' of them by the time the game is done!

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13 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

To add on...

This is the most important one for me. So let's compare Redditch and Birmingham.

Redditch has a population of around 100,000, whereas Birmingham is 1.15m. If I had to pick 16 16-year olds a year to enter the youth team from only that place - clearly there'd be more quality to chose from in Birmingham. However, I was wondering whether you knew if FM sees it like that? Surely there are some big clubs from tiny places around the world that will still get good intakes, despite a small population. 

What I'd expect, if I was to reduce the YC, is to get loads of poor players from Redditch - whereas if I was based in Birmingham, I'd expect to still get some good ones as the pool is much bigger. I wonder if FM works like that or just assigns the 'Place of Birth' as a secondary thought after looking at YC, JC, YF, reputation etc?

I did some sort of drunken experiment in FM19 (I think) which had me give FC Truro fantastic facilities and then play around with the population of Cornwall in the editor.

My vague recollection is that when Cornwall had a huge population, the intakes were better, but the sample size was small, and I was drunk most of the time I loaded it up, so take it with a few handfuls of salt.

 

[I chose Truro for the experiment because it's basically the only club of note in Cornwall. It was based on my time playing as Grenoble in various saves over the years, where I felt like the intakes we got were much better than they should have been (and I think Grenoble are the biggest team in their in-game region)]

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2 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Haha. Some of it was useless based on what I read after/during, but the effort you put into your saves and thread deserves a proper response whenever I'm available. 

You've really made me think about the "experiment" of reducing YR and it keeps popping back into my mind. The fact that I'm still thinking about it means that I'm not 100% sure, (whatever I said last night), and my immediate reaction is.... "why haven't I done this experiment?"

The truth is that it and others are often on my mind, but what happens is that I enjoy a save, get invested in it and then don't want to "cheapen" the save by doing too much with the editor. 

I wouldn't dream of doing it with my current club AC Oulu, but I wonder would it be worthwhile doing it with Stjarnan? The problem with that is that I don't want skew the results there because I'm prioritising the signing of players from my old clubs.. 

In hindsight, I would have selected a club in Scandinavia to monitor purely for experimental purposes and just not ever bought a player produced by their Academy as a way to keep the save.... true. Hindsight eh. :rolleyes:

In that case - I think I'm going to do it!

Let's look at some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Intakes are just as good as before in terms of quality
  • Players come from local to the team which helps my immersion/save goals
  • Nothing else deviates

Cons

  • Intake quality is reduced
  • No new academy players come through in the next 4/5 years of trialling the experiment before I realise it's not working and move the figure back.

-----

If I do fall in to the 'cons' category, then I have the below to fall back on:

  • Managing in England so the youth rating is higher than most places
  • We have Exceptional JC so the CA of the players should still be positively impacted
  • The youth facilities are improving still
  • The reputation of the team is pretty good and I feel like there is a correlation (even if it only impacts 1 or 2 per 10 intakes) that you can still get decent players as a big team regardless of youth quality
  • If literally nobody comes through, I have a decent number of solid youth players now and my first team is still very young.

 

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1 minute ago, turnip said:

I did some sort of drunken experiment in FM19 (I think) which had me give FC Truro fantastic facilities and then play around with the population of Cornwall in the editor.

My vague recollection is that when Cornwall had a huge population, the intakes were better, but the sample size was small, and I was drunk most of the time I loaded it up, so take it with a few handfuls of salt.

 

[I chose Truro for the experiment because it's basically the only club of note in Cornwall. It was based on my time playing as Grenoble in various saves over the years, where I felt like the intakes we got were much better than they should have been (and I think Grenoble are the biggest team in their in-game region)]

Good to know this, thanks.

Well - as you can see in the early posts, we have a population of about 100,000 but the Midlands region, itself is big (~10,000,000 people). Maybe I could find a middle group for recruitment because I remember have 1 meant that it was just Redditch players and got to about 'Good' when I started seeing those from outside of the Midlands coming in. I will need to go back through all my intakes, cross reference them with the birth places and the facilities I had at the time to further this idea.

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March 2041: Youth Recruitment Findings

Here we go @Jimbokav1971 - I've tried to see what I can find from 20 years of intakes.

Firstly, here is the spread of places of birth:

45398f80a051a39ac032b18f7ee51ae4.png

I'm not fussed about the 'other' column but maybe I could have stipulated ENG and other here but never mind. It's as you'd expect - I've widened the recruitment net and got more non-Redditch players. Also added in there is a metric that I'd collected for each intake - the average value of all of their attributes. That, too has grown as we have gone on but I'd suggest that is not linked to YR - instead something that a by product of several other things. However, I think I can use it to find a sweet spot.

----

Here is the average intake mean for each level of YR:

49fd12e03a5a8029786511192f5d836f.png

My intakes have got better as we've progressed but I'm not find them any better now we have Exceptional YR - which has been the case whilst we've played at two different levels.

----

Now, this is how the place of birth spread has evolved at each different level:

175c61e0546fa21dc2f0b8928d456461.png

What I can try and do here is find a sweet spot:

  • Limited: No. Player level is poor but then again, the team was poor at the time.
  • F.Basic, Adequate, Average, Good: Much better distribution but not enough data collated.
  • Exceptional: Considerably less Redditch born players and not the best quality (although that one 'Good' intake may be anomalous).
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February/March 2041

Back to the actual game!

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I've kind of forgotten how we did as plenty of other things that I've been posting about have clouded my memory - however, we're still not quite where we should be. Goals are tough to come by and I'm working on another shape that might allow some more freedom

Promotion is off the cards for this season, definitely.

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25 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

March 2041: Youth Recruitment Findings

Here we go @Jimbokav1971 - I've tried to see what I can find from 20 years of intakes.

Firstly, here is the spread of places of birth:

45398f80a051a39ac032b18f7ee51ae4.png

I'm not fussed about the 'other' column but maybe I could have stipulated ENG and other here but never mind. It's as you'd expect - I've widened the recruitment net and got more non-Redditch players. Also added in there is a metric that I'd collected for each intake - the average value of all of their attributes. That, too has grown as we have gone on but I'd suggest that is not linked to YR - instead something that a by product of several other things. However, I think I can use it to find a sweet spot.

----

Here is the average intake mean for each level of YR:

49fd12e03a5a8029786511192f5d836f.png

My intakes have got better as we've progressed but I'm not find them any better now we have Exceptional YR - which has been the case whilst we've played at two different levels.

----

Now, this is how the place of birth spread has evolved at each different level:

175c61e0546fa21dc2f0b8928d456461.png

What I can try and do here is find a sweet spot:

  • Limited: No. Player level is poor but then again, the team was poor at the time.
  • F.Basic, Adequate, Average, Good: Much better distribution but not enough data collated.
  • Exceptional: Considerably less Redditch born players and not the best quality (although that one 'Good' intake may be anomalous).

Great detail as always, but perhaps there are other areas to at least consider too. 

  • We know that youth generation isn't all about Youth Recruitment. We know that there is input from a number of different areas. 
  • Do we think that Scouting range has any impact at all? 
  • What about staff knowledge? Does having FGN staff actually increase the chance of bringing in FGH players via the intake? 
  • If staff knowledge does have an impact, does the reputation of these staff also have an impact? 
  • What about feeder relationships? While feeder relationships are usually a positive, in your particular save I think they would obviously have a negative influence. 
  • I recently dissected exactly what everything did in terms of Facility upgrades, but I can't remember what thread it was in. I will have to go and have a look. Of course there will absolutely be a "sweet spot" for everything.

I really need to read your whole thread but I have another on the list in front of it 1st. 

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17 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Great detail as always, but perhaps there are other areas to at least consider too. 

  • We know that youth generation isn't all about Youth Recruitment. We know that there is input from a number of different areas. 
  • Do we think that Scouting range has any impact at all? 
  • What about staff knowledge? Does having FGN staff actually increase the chance of bringing in FGH players via the intake? 
  • If staff knowledge does have an impact, does the reputation of these staff also have an impact? 
  • What about feeder relationships? While feeder relationships are usually a positive, in your particular save I think they would obviously have a negative influence. 
  • I recently dissected exactly what everything did in terms of Facility upgrades, but I can't remember what thread it was in. I will have to go and have a look. Of course there will absolutely be a "sweet spot" for everything.

I really need to read your whole thread but I have another on the list in front of it 1st. 

There are, most certainly, many other things to consider in terms of quality. However - this has proved the point in terms of place of birth.

I am an American manager and have overseen two USA players through but my American HoYD has had one player from his two intakes at the club. Obviously far too small to say anything about though. I have had nobody directly from a feeder but one player born in the same town as my feeder - Biala Podlaska: home to a tiny Amateur academy that had become my feeder a year before.

I can't comment on anything else and, I guess, I just need to have a go and see what happens!

---

So, here is the £1m question and one that I already have an answer to in my own head,  which I'll share when you've answered. It goes to you @Jimbokav1971 and anyone else interested.

What value, out of 20, or 'label'  would you choose to give my Youth Recruitment, based on what I've been able to research and your own experience in order for me to get the best quality newgens as well as the greatest number of newgens from Redditch and the local area?

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I'd say in the 6-9 range if your club's reputation is relatively high - you should still have a large enough pull from the immediate local area to get most of the talented youngsters, while not having a good enough YR to attract players from much further afield.

If your club's reputation is still quite low, I'd put the YR a bit higher (10-11), so that you can attract from further afield (i.e. from areas without big clubs).

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6 hours ago, turnip said:

I'd say in the 6-9 range if your club's reputation is relatively high - you should still have a large enough pull from the immediate local area to get most of the talented youngsters, while not having a good enough YR to attract players from much further afield.

If your club's reputation is still quite low, I'd put the YR a bit higher (10-11), so that you can attract from further afield (i.e. from areas without big clubs).

For comparison:

  • Villa: Exceptional - 20
  • Birmingham City: Average - 14
  • West Brom: Exceptional - 20
  • Wolves: Exceptional - 20
  • Walsall: Average - 12
  • Solihull Moors (now League One): Average but, strangely, -1?
  • Coventry: Average - 12
  • Stratford: Basic - 3
  • Alvechurch: Fairly Basic - 6
  • Worcester: Basic - 3

I initially had 6, which translates to Fairly Basic but I have moved it to 11, which is Adequate yet purposely below all of the other clubs in the football league. I'll give it a few years and feedback.

 

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2040/41 End of Season

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A late bit of a form but just a little too late to reach the playoffs as we will now face our seventh season at this level. We finish just one place below last year but our record isn't as strong in what must be considered an easier league without Watford (15th in the Prem this season), Villa (12th) and Everton (18th). 

e45f772ed8cdba39066349eaad971be2.png 2f0b327f5ba200e33973277a67cbdbff.png

The age old issue that we've struggled to create chances yet been strong at the back. However, I want to stick to my principals around ball playing and continue to develop a side that can play my way and still perform really well.

---

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A much better spread of appearances at the end of the season but that meant that some of my first team players missed out on football as the season went on due to an accumulation of fatigue and niggling injuries. Ferencik, again, is my top scorer and now has 214 goals in 288 league games for the club - an outstanding return. Elsewhere, we've struggled with goalscoring from elsewhere but have shared the assists round. Pass completion is high, chance creation isn't what it should be but there are a decent number of key passes - even if they're not necessarily in the final third. We will get there.

---

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Some small changes as we head into the summer as Brad Rothwell moves on after a long time at the club, as does Carter Vincent-Day, although he has since returned as my new DoF which has allowed Vlad to become a Team Leader and, as a M.Citizen with 15 for Det - this is good news for me. My one concern though is the lack of relationships building within the team and the fact that very few of these players are fans of our club!

Not a lot planned over the summer to be fair!

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June 2041: Staffing update

I've been adding some upgraded staff members to my team and now have this:

da61411e1d36b2c8e931829112a0736d.png

It does now give me a really strong coaching setup within my own squad:

a9d09cf3609cd243f9a9f59cecefc3a8.png

And against the rest of the league:

5941d087bcc3f0e45174a551ebc30bcd.png

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Summer 2041: Transfer roundup

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We aren't actually in as strong financial position as you may think as we lose money each month and have really only kept afloat based upon massive sales. This year, the squad is settled, Vidarsson aside (who somehow was unhappy that we hadn't strengthened despite nowhere stipulating that we should nor me promising that to anyone!) so I made my money from selling some clauses on youngsters I sold last summer and from the move to Wolves for Ronan Rooney.

I have also allowed the likes of Davies (loan to Leyton Orient in League One), Ben Austin (loan to Championship side Portsmouth - a great test for the lad who's yet to break into our first team) and John Diaz (loan to LA Galaxy) to leave us.

---

I sanctioned the aforementioned Diaz loan when Radoslaw Januzewcki became available after leaving Hannover, in the German second tier. He's not a miracle centre back but, since Duncan's departure, we've lacked an older head (although my theories on consistency and important matches may be removing the 'need' for this) but also sometimes lack a real leader, which this bloke is. He's on a one year deal and a lot of his future will depend on how Diaz performs on loan, as he's really struggled to hold down a consistent place for us, despite his 'good' star rating.

4f168fcdbc33d06e94a5e396d30d3608.png

I wanted a bit more experience and goals up front so made a rare loan move for Villa lad George Farrar. I wanted someone who shared a similar playing style as Vlad so went for the pacey option and, hopefully, he'll be able to fill in on the wings or as a replacement for the aforementioned Ferencik. As with any loanee, I'm not going prioritise giving him game time over my own players, but, as you can see below, he's a solid player:

2631369ba9d85750d50362d57714eecf.png

Edited by _Ben_
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June 2041: Further Dealings

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Harry Curran, who, with only five senior appearances, moves to Walsall to experience League One football in a side chasing promotion and Patrick Reece, who did make 23 appearances last year, stays in the Championship with Bristol City, who are predicted to finish near the bottom but will give him first team football. The purpose of these loans are to see how much consistency and resilience to important matches they can build before coming back and truly being ready to step into the first team.

071f144f46566ec112cb470f0b31c437.png

I moved for two experienced Frenchmen, Miguel and Lopez, who have decent personalties, are determined, on low wages and happy to accept backup roles.

---

I doubt they'll be any more to come!

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July 2041: Odds

c43d7b5fdb67cfdc13858935c5ea799e.png

Three very strong relegated teams (Leeds: one season in Champ in 26/27, Sheff United: four seasons but non since 2031 and have always been promoted at first try and Everton: two seasons in Championship but again gone straight back up) join underachieving Derby, Burnley and Brighton - all of whom have had 8+ years of Prem experience in the last 20 seasons.

The media dream XI, for reference, has 9 Leeds players in - including an Elite Striker who they paid £18m for from PSG. This shows their strength!

---

I think this may be another season of building.

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July 2041: Playing for their future

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I have four players who are out of contract next summer and want to set some targets, as such, for them to achieve. As of right now, there is no need to replace them as they are useful players to my squad and I'm so far unable to source a replacement that I feel would upgrade the team (I'm looking for: Age, Personality, Position, Ability, Suitability of DNA, Consistency). 

Billy Airey is a good backup option, came through the academy, matches my DNA really well and is a Professional. He's also a Team Leader. In an ideal world, he'll play 25 times this season, across starts and substitute appearances. His demands are pretty reasonably (below £20k p/w) but I'm going to keep him waiting until December. If he's made 10 appearances by then, at a decent standard, he'll get offered a new deal.

Oscar Bennett is another local, academy produced defender. He is the only player in my first team with the 'Only' when describing their preferred foot and he's not played too much of late, probably not justifying his wage as one of my higher earners. With the exit of Diaz, on loan, he's essentially moved up a place in my pecking order and is useful in the MC role as well, although I am trying a slightly different shape in pre-season that uses a double DM pivot. He'll need to have made 10 appearances by December to enter into a renewal.

Ben Richards is a difficult one. He's the strongest of these but wants to be a regular starter and I don't know if I can actually guarantee him that. He made 26(12) appearances last year at an AR of 6.91 with five goals and four assists, which was pretty good. However, his initial demands of just £12k p/w (although it does bring back a 35% wage rise upon promotion) are very reasonable so I'll have a look in October to see if he's started the season well. It'll likely be a one year extension though.

Radoslaw Januszewki is a difficult one. He's here to allow Diaz some game time and it may be that his future depends on the growth of Diaz and whether I decide to keep Bennett, which is a shame as he may be a wonderful player. He is, however, on a really low wage and does bring a lot to the club off the field. He's not started pre-season amazingly, but I will keep this one open. It's likely that, if there is any Bosman interest, it'll come from abroad - so I need to have an answer, one way or another, by the end of December before he can talk to other clubs.

 

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August 2041: Tactical Thoughts

c26848911da571e56e1d4acac0f6ae7a.png

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going tactically and I feel that has held us back a little bit. However, I will try and paraphrase a few things I said earlier in the thread:

  • Possession orientated, but not possession for possession sake
  • Interceptions over tackles
  • Exploitation of the middle through wider build up.

We may be getting a little lost here but my idea is now to use two #6's with a #10 in front, deviating from a #6 and two #8's with the #10 being a wide player. We still have a wide playmaker and will look to get the ball wide but the introduction of an IF I feel is necessary to get another goalscoring threat in. The position of the IF will change depending on whether Farrar (left footed) or Stokes (right footed) plays.

This shape massively benefits a low/split block and I've gone for the #10 in the CM strata rather than the AM strata for some more stability. We have, historically, struggled for goals and I don't know whether this move is the exact one to help that but I think it may help our build up play.

---

I've got no idea if this'll work and, as I said, I'm feeling a little lost tactically at the moment but at least I have the time and resources to try and fix this.

 

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August 2041: Poached

06cdae4357933846eeb1c9dd595f13ac.png

This is interesting.

As soon as our YR was of a good standard, I didn't get this. I wonder if moving it back down has meant that other teams can pinch these players 'easier?'

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September 2041: Transfer Bid

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When this bid came in for Nwadike, it said he'd get unsettled if I didn't accept. A quick chat ensued and we settled that I'd let him leave if they met his £32.5m Release Clause - which is, to be fair, not far off what I rate a still-unproven 18 year old who hasn't really set the world alight.

I don't want to lose him but this would rectify the declining bank balance but leave me with a hole I can't fill until, at least, the end of the season when Curran, Reece and Austin return from their loans.

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August/September 2041

a77aa935e23b2ac4e3a81f2598b860d6.png

I'm really pleased with this start.

Given that this picture excludes Everton and Brighton and Leeds have barely made this, I must expect that the big teams will be back, and back with vengeance very soon. However, we're executing our game plans well and the strikers - Ferencik (0.73 goals/90), Stokes (0.66 goals/90), Abrahamsson (0.59 goals/90) and Farrar (0.56 goals/90) are converting more than they have done previously.

7ade6f0e4ab37fee9a4af54edd6f2779.png

For once, we are in the 'aggressive' category, although this is from such a small sample, I can only take it with a pinch of salt. Likewise, solidifying the defence and stopping us being so 'busy' will come with time.

---

Given the terrible training facilities and the lack of competitive fixtures - I've really pushed the loans this year and we have plenty away from the club:

fc2753b92ac4855e578df9d98d9ea3c6.png .

Sadly, those who I want to be getting into first team shape - Austin, Bass, Curran and Reece - are not performing too well. Time will tell whether Noel Segui will be granted a work permit as he enters his second season on loan at Vitoria.

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November 2041: Developing the roles

For reference, I'm going use the terminology of a number 6, 8 and 10 for this and I've detailed what the roles entail below. This is taken from here and, whilst I don't agree with all of it, it's a decent reference point.

Number 6:

  • Sits in front of the defence
  • Wins the ball back with tackles and interceptions
  • Covers teammates when they go forward
  • Harries opposition attackers
  • Physically fit and tenacious

Number 8:

  • Lines up in the middle of the field
  • Equally adept at attacking and defending
  • Maintains possession
  • Tracks back to tackle and block shots
  • Breaks into the opponent’s box and tries to score

Number 10:

  • Dictates play from behind the strikers
  • Creates goalscoring chances for the attackers
  • Technique and creativity crucial
  • Ability to shoot from range an advantage

---

I currently have two promising midfielders, below, but I am unsure of what exactly to do with them.

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Someone like Harry Curran is much easier to work out as he has the trademarks of a number 10 - good passing, vision, technique and decisions but the other two are both quite mysterious. Firstly, they have both picked up various random traits from being at the club which is quite annoying but I guess I can work with it for now.

Austin possesses great technique and vision, as you'd want for a 10, but his passing just ins't good enough to be able to pick out those players ahead of him. Also, he works really hard for the team and is quite physical, but lacks the tackling and marking to be a 6. He's probably rounded enough to be an 8 but there is no real stand out - he's just a really mentally strong player. I almost feel like converting him to a full back would be beneficial here as he'll certainly help with ball retention but, again, his defensive attributes could be stronger.

Reece is more of a number 10 in terms of his passing and technique but lacks the vision and decisions to make those cutting balls. He's a better ball winner but isn't as physical as Austin which rules him out as a true 6. Again, an 8 may be useful here but the defensive positioning and lack of strength do put me off slightly.

---

Ideally, these two need to be morphed into just one player who'd be a more-than-solid all rounder!

Edited by _Ben_
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October/November 2041

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We are really getting there. 

Brentford are a strong team and I have no issues with the home loss, considering that we were in the game throughout. The only blip here is the Portsmouth result where we created nothing and really offered no threat going forward - it could have been 5 or 6. The international break came at a good time though and we regrouped before going three unbeaten - including a good result against West Brom because, historically, we've struggled again them.

My squad rotation is going much better this year and it's allowing me to keep my better players fit and fresh, which is keeping us more consistent.

---

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Noel Segui makes me a lovely £4.6m profit after spending 18 months on loan at Vitoria. I could have, apparently, got a Work Permit for him but he'd decided that he needed a raise from his £1.6k p/w contract to nearly £40k p/w (although I believe his head had already been turned at this point) so he moves on. No hard feelings from me here.

---

9dce905a28e3d658b1386a93594fe3c5.png

Also said no to this!

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December 2041: Youth Intake preview

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I don't care for the messages of quality as it's very inaccurate but I am happy to see that the best player is from Dudley, which is local!

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January 2042: Contract rejected

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Looks like he isn't off to China.

Still, I've already worked out a few plans to spend some of this money so the likelihood is that he will move on at some point soon.

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Always enjoy trying to evaluate players so here's what I would do with those listed.

Austin: I'd use him as an 8. As you said, he isn't strong enough defensively to shield the back four but doesn't have the passing (or dribbling/athleticism) to be a creative 10. His mentals are great though, and I could see him being a nice support player, even if he's not the most exciting. Fullback isn't a bad shout but I don't think he's athletic enough to defend wingers/inside forwards.

Reece: Tough one, but I think you'll get the most out of him as a 10 even if he has some flaws. Technicals (first touch, passing, technique) are very good and the mentals should improve with age/experience.

Curran: Probably my least favorite of the three just because I prefer technical players to have higher flair. I wonder if he would ever be strong enough defensively to play as a fullback? I think that's where you'd get the most out of his engine while masking his low aggression/aerial ability. 

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1 hour ago, tyler16 said:

Always enjoy trying to evaluate players so here's what I would do with those listed.

Austin: I'd use him as an 8. As you said, he isn't strong enough defensively to shield the back four but doesn't have the passing (or dribbling/athleticism) to be a creative 10. His mentals are great though, and I could see him being a nice support player, even if he's not the most exciting. Fullback isn't a bad shout but I don't think he's athletic enough to defend wingers/inside forwards.

Reece: Tough one, but I think you'll get the most out of him as a 10 even if he has some flaws. Technicals (first touch, passing, technique) are very good and the mentals should improve with age/experience.

Curran: Probably my least favorite of the three just because I prefer technical players to have higher flair. I wonder if he would ever be strong enough defensively to play as a fullback? I think that's where you'd get the most out of his engine while masking his low aggression/aerial ability. 

I think you're right on all three of them!

Austin is a tough one - he's potentially a really good player as he's so mentally strong for his age but just doesn't stand out anywhere. He's also been thrown in a little at the deep end on loan at Pompey, as seen below, and I don't know whether that's helping him or hindering him.

d18d1fbe4c1c1e91602aeb485c74b22f.png

---

LIkewise, Reece isn't having much luck at Bristol City and is now 21 so major changes are going to be harder to come by. I like that he's two footed buy I'm not going to keep him just because I have a preference for that in my 10s. I also have a preference for the 10 to start out wide, ala Jack Grealish and Daniel Ejza is really growing into that role. I even have the promising Charlie Simon, who is a little more rounded than Reece, even if not as good.

---

Curran might actually make a good full back, actually. I'm pretty strong at right back but he does offer some Leadership and a good engine to get up and down. He has also struggled on loan this season at League One Walsall.

Edited by _Ben_
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January 2042: Academy update

Below is the top of a 72-man long list of those who have come through my academy and now find themselves at other clubs:

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It's not hugely impressive yet but Bohana, Krasniqi and Llorente are three really strong players who are first team players in top European leagues.

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December 2041/January 2042

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And we're back to where we were...

Inconsistencies throughout and, at one point, we even dropped out of the playoff places. Good performances away at Burnley and Bristol City were overshadowed by the (expected) loss to Everton and Boto but pretty poor turn outs against the likes of Forest and Milwall.

We go again!

---

There has no been no business in January as the market is pretty much dead. Both Brexit and the issue with lots of teams not having a filled u18 squad means that there is little talent available locally, and, what is, is valued extortionately combined with the foreign talent that wants to join us being unable to get Work Permits. I'm on the look out for a couple of new midfielders, but I'm feeling that Austin will get his chance upon return to the team in one of those roles - I just want to spend the money that will inevitably come in from the Nwadike sale.

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March 2042: Youth Intake

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Firstly, the little experiment with the youth recruitment seems to be going ok, @Jimbokav1971 - six players are from the local region. It appears that they fill up the intake with players of different nationalities once the 'YR bit is done,' which may explain why people have had way more non-British players in their intakes at lower level.s

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I like this intake, too!

Gallinagh and Barrow seem to be the standouts but the attribute balance for Kalenga is good, and I hope that his Determination level will accelerate his development. Fredrik Brathen gives me massive Daniel Braathen vibes and is similar in that his strongest attributes are his speed and dribbling. I doubt he'll amount to much but he's a nice little nostalgic player! Laurence Richards, the lad tipped in the intake preview, could also be handy.

 

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