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[FM21] Hometown Heroes


_Ben_
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May 2042: End of (Regular) season

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I accidentally played through a bit more than I should but this is where we end - three games from the big time. I'm not sure that we deserve to be there just yet, but, after eight years at this level, who can deny us our shot! Brentford up first and, if I can past them, I'd certainly rather face Milwall.

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May 2042: Playoffs

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When both of your goals are penalties, you're always going to create a good amount of xG - but, to end with 2.56 xG to Brentford's 1.26, shows that it was a pretty even game overall, yet one where we just took our chances better. Likewise, at home, our 2.25 xG showed better chance creation than Brentford and we seal our place in the final, but it is against Derby.

I am, however, unbeaten against them this season...

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2 minutes ago, turnip said:

4-4-****in'-two mate

 

 

Just sayin'

Genuinely, I don't think I've ever gone into a match in the entire time of playing CM/FM, with a flat 4-4-2 formation!

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10 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

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.

 

The Greek lad reminds me of the Spanish kid you did the experiment with at Guadalajara. He ended up being a decent player too IIRC

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12 hours ago, beardymouse said:

Amazing scenes! What a journey! Well done!

At least your money challenges should be easier now!

Thanks - money will be there but I'm not sure whether the money will be useful as there is such a shortage of players to pick from!

12 hours ago, Fudal said:

The Greek lad reminds me of the Spanish kid you did the experiment with at Guadalajara. He ended up being a decent player too IIRC

Amazing memory! Yeah, he could have but sadly, I didn't offer him a contract as he was abysmal!

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2041/42 End of season

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What a season! We actually lingered just outside the playoff places in the final few matches and I certainly did not expect to end up where we are right now. I must say that my 3D match mode is terribly slow to load (I think I need to update drivers) so generally haven't used it but it was wonderful to watch and something I'll definitely spend more time doing now I need to be a bit more tactically pragmatic to keep up with the big boys.

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Three scorers in double figures, assists spread nicely across the team, real competition between my two goalkeepers and some nice ratings across the board. I'm happy with our play this season and, even though we haven't been anywhere near the best team in this league, can move up with a lot of confidence in our style.

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We've agreed some trainingyouth and stadium improvements too.

The longest summer of my career is ahead and I'm going to try and document each step of it as I attempt to build a squad capable of staying up...

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May 2042: Step 1 - Scour the market

I've got areas I need to strengthen but I'm holding off until the season ticks over and our reputation and league standing is updated. In the meantime - I've assigned a scout to find first team players for every position - as I want to take stock of what the quality is like of those available to me.

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June 2043: New deals

I want to keep the core of the squad together but will enter the market for the right player that improves us. Therefore, I wanted to tie down my more important players before we are officially a Premier League team to avoid massive wage increases and knowing that, if I do find better players, that they can be good enough as rotational options.

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I have also been able to renew the loan deal for George Farrar to keep him here for another year. 

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June 2042: MONEY!

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An absurd amount of money.

I'd rather have an u18 team and an u23 team that actually participates in a league though...

EDIT: However...

With the fact we've a tiny stadium and a small fanbase, we're still not planned to actually make much money...

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Edited by _Ben_
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2 hours ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Redditch in the Premier League! Congrats mate :)

Quite surreal! I can't say that I'm doing the best job of preparing us to stay there though...

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July 2042: Thoughts so far...

This is not going well, at all.

I am really struggling to find the right players for the team on the budget that we have. In fact, I've only made one signing so far and he was already arranged pre-promotion: that of Billy Lloyd, a centre back with fantastic passing ability, from Man City for a fee of just £400k. However, he won't keep us up - I really need re-enforcements, and fast.

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12 hours ago, brookie1402 said:

Great player and also ties in with one of your aims at the start of the save with him being Carribean.

Spot on! He's been on my radar for some time and I'm delighted to have finally got him.

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Jul 2042/43: Transfer Window

Our first season in the Premier League and I was tasked with a pretty mammoth job of a) strengthening the squad but b) strengthening the squad in a way that allows the players to seamlessly fit in the the culture and DNA of the squad that I have spent years building and recruiting. I think I've done a decent job...

Firstly, the 'ins' as all of the 'outs' are reactive to this:

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Not wholesale. Not massive. Just five signings to strengthen weak areas and I can fully justify all of these deals. The £21.5m outlay is big, bigger than our bank balance right now and, with structured deals, I can only rely on TV money to sort this, but these were necessary.

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Three players from the UK, which has always been my aim here - and then a little bit of talent from further afield. Four of the five players fit into the 'good' personality bracket and I'm hoping that Spencer Coker is young enough to develop his as he progresses with us. Nobody is breaking my wage structure (Ferencik is top earner of £40k p/w) and the ability and suitability towards my squad requirements are clear, with Cano probably being the weakest match to this.

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Justin was the first player in, and, due to that, was my record signing for nearly a week. He started out at Stoke and had a successful season in the Premier League with them, despite their relegation in the 2037/38 season before he moved tot he south coast for a fee of £17.75m, playing regular football in the Championship. He fell out of favour somewhat and was loaned to Dundee last year where he made 16 starts in their Premiership season where they finished 3rd. He's been capped 19 times by England u21's and brings a wealth of experience for a young man. He's Resolute (Determination 15-17, Professionalism 15-17) and Level Headed (Professionalism 13-20, Loyalty 12-20), which means he'll fit in nicely and will add some bite to the team. I particularly like his defensive ability, Tackling, Marking and Heading are great for this level but he's no slouch on the ball either. His traits though make him the most interesting - 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible' means that he'll break forward, at the right time, thanks to his Decision making, and have a hand in some goals - as noted by his 0.25 Assists/90 least season from a deep position. At 24, he's unlikely to make too much more progress - but I've added the SV(a) training role with Defensive Positioning to try and solidify a few of the areas that he'll use in my system - although there are certainly no 'weak spots.'

His £3m was in instalments as I pay £667k every July for the next three years after £1m upfront and his 5-year deal also includes the option for another, extra, season.

 

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This Henry Alade deal kind of reminds me of the Kortney Hause deal from Wolves to Villa. He was a decent player there but, upon their relegation, was available for a knockdown fee of just £2.5m. At just 5'6", he's not the type of player I want defending the back post for crosses from the opposition left wing but he does possess a decent game when going forward and is clever and can concentrate. He's Level Headed (Professionalism 13-20, Loyalty 12-20) and Spirited (Pressure 15-20, Professionalism 11-17) which means he's unlikely to crack under pressure which may help him with the big games - but unfortunately I have no mention from the coaches that he 'enjoys' them or is consistent. Again, there is probably not much development left in him and the 23 Premier League appearances last year would suggest that he won't get a boost simply by playing at a higher level than before, but I'll use the WB(s) and Defensive Positioning schedules for him and he'll join the Attacking Unit, like all of my full backs.

He's a big improvement on Kingsford Musah and a good addition to the squad.

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The big one! My record signing - although only £2m of the £8.5m was paid upfront with the rest in various instalments as we progress as Gladbach looked happy to move him on as he entered the last year of his deal. Akeem is a top quality centre back with good ball playing ability. What is more, he's a M.Pro (Professionalism 20, Temperament 10-20) and Level Headed (Professionalism 13-20, Loyalty 12-20) and fits right into culture of the team. He's a seasoned international and a player with over 50 Bundesliga appearances - although was relegated last season. Never the less, he averaged over 3 tackles a game and completed nearly 80% of his passes - filling me with hope when he joins my more possession oriented squad. I'll use the LIB(a) schedule with Defensive Positioning just to try and eek out the extra star of potential he has but he's already top notch now.

This kind of player could be the make or break for us as I reckon he's going to be busy!

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I was drawn to Cano in the search for a long-term replacement for Aron Stefansson but what I've got here is, for my level, the ultimate hybrid IF/AP player. Victor is great in front of goal (even if 30 career goals in 227 games isn't too impressive) and is also a good creator - with bags and flair, vision, technique and decent passing. He is maybe a little more erratic than others in terms of Decision making but he could well be that luxury 10 I play out wide, rotating with academy product Ejza. He comes of the back of a really good spell in Atlanta, where he's registered 5 assists so far this season for the Five Stripes. The £2m upfront and £3.5m in instalments does show a loss on the £8.5m that Atlanta paid for him but I would put that down to reputation of the club/league rather than injuries or any other worries as his slate seems pretty clean. Resolute (Determination 15-17, Professionalism 15-17) and Level Headed (Professionalism 13-20, Loyalty 12-20) is another good set of personality traits and he is fluent in the language, which will help, too. Another one that has signed a 5-year deal and he's insisted on a £50m release clause to Champions League clubs - clearly identifying his ambition to go far in the European game. I'm using the RMD(a) schedule with Final Third (Cmp/Dec) to see if I can get any improvements as he adjusts to a better standard of football.

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I must say that I love plucking a player from the lower levels and when I saw that Coker had let his deal run out at Championship Preston, I was willing to pay the £1.9m compensation to take over his contract.  The all round midfielder scored 14 times last year for Preston, although six did come from the penalty spot. His scoring record does remind me a little of Frank Lampard's. I like his Decision making and the fact that he's happy to use his relative physical frame to get up and down from the number 8 role. I'm going for RPM(s) and Defensive Positioning to try and get Marking and Positioning developed slightly as he'll be spending more time defending this year than last!

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To me, the squad feels in a great place and dropping back in to my Excel analysis, it would tend to agree. Likewise, the sales I have agreed are mainly reactionary loans to the likes of Brough, Bennett and (hopefully) Stefansson, as they won't have access to the minutes they want this year but have been kept on in case this is too much of a step up for us.

I'd love to hear what people think of these signings!

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Absolutely fantastic save Ben, love the amount of detail and time you put in lad. Great new signings as well, look like definite improvements ahead of the Premier League season. How do you scout, and also how do you dedicate so much time to a save without getting bored of the save? Also I'm gonna teach myself excel inspired by your saves.

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4 hours ago, Joe Horn said:

Absolutely fantastic save Ben, love the amount of detail and time you put in lad. Great new signings as well, look like definite improvements ahead of the Premier League season. How do you scout, and also how do you dedicate so much time to a save without getting bored of the save? Also I'm gonna teach myself excel inspired by your saves.

Thanks so much! Hopefully we have enough to survive and build on over the next years. I think I keep the save fresh by focusing on different things as we progress: it started as just getting to the football league, then I started with some youth stuff, then recruitment, then more youth stuff, and now I think I'm really going to try and learn to be tactically savvy and that will hopefully be reflected in my updates. It just means I'm not doing the same thing over and over!

As for scouting...

I tend to let my Chief Scout run it, except for that little cameo in the summer just to see what was available. I also exclusively use the Scouted tab:

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I then have a series of filters that I flick between to dig into those players I want. For example:

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This filter has:

  • Scout report within the last six months
  • Knowledge level at least 70% (so all attributes are revealed)
  • 4 DNA attributes are 13 or above
  • A 'positive' personality
  • Not 'left only' or 'right only' footed
  • Interested in joining the club.

As you can see - it's pretty small pickings and two of those are ex-players! I'll then dive into that even further and start to look at in game performances, analyst reports etc.

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 I have also just upgraded to the World scouting package:

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And I'm in the process of increasing the world knowledge, largely through scouts with specific nationalities:

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My next step is to micro-manage those scouting missions, getting them into the regions that I want but it's a work in progress. Hopefully my recruitment will continue to be fairly small scale as we can start to rely on more Premier League quality youth over the coming years.

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Some good players brought in, the type that could contribute to you staying up.

Like the look of Shields, appropriate name as he fits the bill for protecting the backline. Decent on the ball too which fits the style.

Alade looks decent, definitely an improvement and should have enough about him mentally to make up for ~mediocre physicals (for a PL fullback, that is). Wish he was slightly better in the final third, but I can't remember if you have the fullbacks tucking inside or not.

Miller is class, love the traits too.

Looking forward to you getting more into the tactical side and how you set up the team.

 

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37 minutes ago, tyler16 said:

Some good players brought in, the type that could contribute to you staying up.

Like the look of Shields, appropriate name as he fits the bill for protecting the backline. Decent on the ball too which fits the style.

Alade looks decent, definitely an improvement and should have enough about him mentally to make up for ~mediocre physicals (for a PL fullback, that is). Wish he was slightly better in the final third, but I can't remember if you have the fullbacks tucking inside or not.

Miller is class, love the traits too.

Looking forward to you getting more into the tactical side and how you set up the team.

 

Yeah - Shields was an absolute bargain - especially considering how much Brighton had paid for him. Alade will probably be backup as Glasscoe is the better player here and he will either play as a FB(a) or a WB(s) depending on the role of the wide player ahead of him.

Miller and Roberts both share the 'Brings Ball Out of Defence' trait which is fantastic. I do play with a double 6 so their space to come out in may be slightly blocked and it is making me question whether I need the 'Play out of Defence' team instruction but I'm learning about that as I go.

My plan is to definitely bring the update length down to monthly and try and get some good gifs, tactical thoughts in - especially now I've updated my drivers and I'm not left with a 2 minute hang when trying to start a game (but do get one when I'm 'Awaiting Media Reaction' when I leave the game).

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July 2042: u23 progress

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Competitive games! Still no entry to the league though.

I guess people like @XaW(who specialise in this save game type) may be able answer how long it takes an u23 team of a newly promoted EPL club to enter the PL2 and if it's possible to a) create an u18 team and b) have them entered into competition...

@Jimbokav1971 can you remember anything from your save last year on this?

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14 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

I guess people like @XaW(who specialise in this save game type) may be able answer how long it takes an u23 team of a newly promoted EPL club to enter the PL2 and if it's possible to a) create an u18 team and b) have them entered into competition...

I asked about this a while back and the reply was that it's based on youth level, however the current teams in the leagues have priority. So that means its not enough to get the highest youth level, but you also need some of the existing teams to fail. I think in my FM19 or FM20 save, my u23s joined a league 5 or 6 years after getting the highest youth level.

I haven't read the entire thread (but I might!), so I don't know your youth level currently.

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3 minutes ago, XaW said:

I asked about this a while back and the reply was that it's based on youth level, however the current teams in the leagues have priority. So that means its not enough to get the highest youth level, but you also need some of the existing teams to fail. I think in my FM19 or FM20 save, my u23s joined a league 5 or 6 years after getting the highest youth level.

I haven't read the entire thread (but I might!), so I don't know your youth level currently.

Thanks for that - I guess it makes good sense!

I've just been promoted and have a Level 3 Youth Level, which is being upgraded this year. Unsurprisingly, every other team has Level 1 so I have some way to go to reach that. I also guess that reputation will play a part.

Creating an u18 team is probably my biggest goal here - and again I presume that's going to link to youth level? Although I have never had one in game and even my Combined Counties feeder club, Rugby, have one that play in a competitive league!

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16 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Thanks for that - I guess it makes good sense!

I've just been promoted and have a Level 3 Youth Level, which is being upgraded this year. Unsurprisingly, every other team has Level 1 so I have some way to go to reach that. I also guess that reputation will play a part.

Creating an u18 team is probably my biggest goal here - and again I presume that's going to link to youth level? Although I have never had one in game and even my Combined Counties feeder club, Rugby, have one that play in a competitive league!

Yeah, could be a while until you u23s are in a league then.

As to creating a U18s. I have no idea, I've never started with a club that doesn't have one. But would expect that could also be linked to your youth coaching perhaps?

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47 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

July 2042: u23 progress

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Competitive games! Still no entry to the league though.

I guess people like @XaW(who specialise in this save game type) may be able answer how long it takes an u23 team of a newly promoted EPL club to enter the PL2 and if it's possible to a) create an u18 team and b) have them entered into competition...

@Jimbokav1971 can you remember anything from your save last year on this?

I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I will happily have a little look through the Irchester thread from FM21. 

So you're looking at when my U23's had fixtures? 

I usually comment on this sort of thing, (because it's a big deal), so let me have a look. 

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August 2042: First Premier League Game

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Line up: Weaver, Haywood, Miller, Roberts, Glasscoe, Shields, Maddison, Nwadike, Ejza, Cano, Ferencik.

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I think that the above shape that I'll be starting the majority of my matches with. I like the double 6 with a wide 10, which can be mirrored on to both sides depending on who is playing. I've been thinking about the TI's for this and am in the process of really trying to see what they do - but I do really like the 'Dribble Less' as those offensive players do like to run with the ball which doesn't really fit in with my build up play. I've chosen the CF(a) up top because, let's face it, we're going to be defending a fair bit and I'm going to need Ferencik to do a lot of work himself but also to try and draw defenders out for the Raumdeuter. I've opted for this role rather than an IF(a) because lately I've been really impressed with the off the ball play and it's general offensiveness, getting up near the forward. I like the CM(a) as the 8 as he's offensive enough to get up and down but doesn't take up a 'playmaker role' in the team and isn't a ball magnet. I've found the BBM(s) doesn't get forward enough and a BWM(s) with some slightly altered instructions was still a little too static. The DM(s) and BWM(s) double 6 pivot is nice but I do wonder whether it takes out the need to play out of defence.

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I started the game strong but was soon overpowered by their flat 3-4-3 shape so ended up in a slightly strange, and new, 5-2-3 shape, removing the double pivot but utilising the Lib(s) - although he did little attacking. In hindsight, the central midfield duo were far too fluid and there was no structure there, which did allow Fulham to play through the middle, easily feeding balls to their three strikers, even if they were man marked. The main concern though is that we conceded 3.07 xG vs 1.36 the that we created, against a Fulham team that are bottom half material..

Man City come to the Kingfisher Stadium next...

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5 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I will happily have a little look through the Irchester thread from FM21. 

So you're looking at when my U23's had fixtures? 

I usually comment on this sort of thing, (because it's a big deal), so let me have a look. 

Would be lovely, please!

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August 2042: Redditch vs Man City

Game two of our season. I won't be doing this for every match...

A strange occurrence and a giant killing meant we actually went in to the Man City tie unbeaten against them. I expected this to be a much tougher affair. However, much credit must go to Tommy Stazicker, my defensive coach, as we put in five extra defensive based sessions before we faced the Cityzens.

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The end result:

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A valiant 1-1 draw against a team that scored 72 times last year and finished second in the league. Despite only scoring a 6.6 AR, Akeem Miller left with a 100% tackle win ratio, 100% header win ratio,  made a key interception  and completed 92% of his passes. Pure class from the Reggae Boy.

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29 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Would be lovely, please!

Ok. I've got it. 

Page 15 of the Irchester thread. 

I turned Pro in 2039 while in Conference National. 
Got promoted from Conference National to League 2 in 2040.
1st competitive games for U18's in League 2 in 2040. 

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You're talking about U23's though. Not sure I can remember that at all now I come to mention it......

Page 27 says we definitely played U23's football while we were in League 1 in 2048. I'm just going backwards now to see if we played any earlier. (pretty sure we didn't play U23 football in League 2). 

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We 1st played in League 1 in 2044/45, but I don't see mention of U21 games until...... May 2048 (page 27), which was actually the season that we won League 1, (at the 5th attempt). 

Interestingly though, this was the year our rep popped from Regional to National. 

I've included the page number to help you if you want to go back and have a look for anything I might have missed, Looking back in that thread has reminded me how much I loves that save. 

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11 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Got promoted from Conference National to League 2 in 2040.
1st competitive games for U18's in League 2 in 2040. 

 

12 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Page 27 says we definitely played U23's football while we were in League 1 in 2048. I'm just going backwards now to see if we played any earlier. (pretty sure we didn't play U23 football in League 2). 

 

Thank you so much for going back to find these dates for me!

Sadly, this is not good news. We've never had an u18 squad and there has never been an option to add one. I'm hoping that when I reach Youth Level 2 or 1, there will be. Likewise, our u23's have been entered in the Papa John's this year but have never had a league to play in...

Certainly making the player development much harder!

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On 22/01/2021 at 21:18, _Ben_ said:

2041 Youth Intake

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Intake AnalyserNationality Tracker

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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?

I did an experiment in fm20, I've set for all teams in poland recruitment value of 1 and youth coaching of 20. I did 10 simulations and setting recruitment as low as possible limited potential ability to 139 in all seasons (I've had tens of players with good CA but PA limited to 139). 

Youth recruitment have a big effect on potential ability (not sure about current ability but I'm sure there's some), but the main purpose of youth recruitment is to broaden your area of getting players. If you limit yourself to getting players only from one region/city - you're missing on talented players from other parts of the country. That's why mainly the best teams and academies have the highest yr rating, because they're able to 'attract' newgens from every part of the nation.

So this is the downside of 'local' saves - either you develop the club to attract the best youth with good personalities or you limit your intakes on players from local area and getting good talented youngsters every year is just wishful thinking.

One word about dual-nationalities on intakes - every country has lesser or greater chance of creating newgens with 2nd nationality. England is a multicultural country so the chance is much bigger than in Poland for instance. You get Africans, Jamaicans, Caribbean's and in lesser extent other europeans like romanians, poles, etc.

I've found that having affiliates in other countries can increase non-english influx of players the most (if we talk about england here of course). 

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9 minutes ago, Bigpole said:

I did an experiment in fm20, I've set for all teams in poland recruitment value of 1 and youth coaching of 20. I did 10 simulations and setting recruitment as low as possible limited potential ability to 139 in all seasons (I've had tens of players with good CA but PA limited to 139). 

Youth recruitment have a big effect on potential ability (not sure about current ability but I'm sure there's some), but the main purpose of youth recruitment is to broaden your area of getting players. If you limit yourself to getting players only from one region/city - you're missing on talented players from other parts of the country. That's why mainly the best teams and academies have the highest yr rating, because they're able to 'attract' newgens from every part of the nation.

So this is the downside of 'local' saves - either you develop the club to attract the best youth with good personalities or you limit your intakes on players from local area and getting good talented youngsters every year is just wishful thinking.

One word about dual-nationalities on intakes - every country has lesser or greater chance of creating newgens with 2nd nationality. England is a multicultural country so the chance is much bigger than in Poland for instance. You get Africans, Jamaicans, Caribbean's and in lesser extent other europeans like romanians, poles, etc.

I've found that having affiliates in other countries can increase non-english influx of players the most (if we talk about england here of course). 

Interesting - thanks so much for commenting! Not really what I wanted to hear though...

In the end, I set my YR at 11, which is average so I'm not going all the way back to what your Polish experiment used. Also, I'm managing in England which, I presume, has a better Youth Rating than Poland. I think that my plan is to really push the part I've bolded as much as I can. We've massively overachieved and have got to the Prem, with 4 Redditch born players starting my last game - so anything further from here is just a bonus. I would be absolutely happy with sitting mid table for the next 10 years giving football to local-ish lads from my academy.

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August 2042

b266521cb3fdd2a8f192adbd842c3bfc.png

Welcome to the Premier League...

The Fulham tie and the Man City tie were fine - I was slightly concerned with the xG we conceded against Fulham but we scored twice and came away with a good point.

It's gone a bit sour since then. We absolutely battered Blues, yet a penalty, a freekick and a 20-yard screamer gave them a 3-0 win at the Trillion Trophy Stadium in a game that was a harsh awakening of just how cut throat this league is. I could not fault any of the players during the 90 minutes, they did their jobs, but, given the scoreline, all ended with low ratings. I let my own emotions get to me a little and was quite tough in the post-match team talk, which did annoy some of the lads. Some fines were handed out, which has increased some Determination (notably Nwadike to 15 which has now made him Resolute). 

I made 11 changes against Reading, hoping that a fresh squad would be more useful. However, I probably could have played some stronger players and hopefully given them a little chance at gaining some form. Once again, Reading have robbed us. They scored their two goals from a grand total of 0.18 xG - however, we only just about matched that. I was making a quick substitution as we rolled into injury time, expecting the defeat, but Daniel Ejza popped up with a lovely finish. Unfortunately, Spencer Coker decided that he'd Panenka the first penalty of the night, straight into the arms of the keeper. We lost the shootout 5-3. Probably helpful for our league campaign but poor for morale.

Another case of an xG mismatch. It ended 1.41 - 0.7 in xG comparison as we continued to play great football but just didn't get the end product. Arsenal are still a strong team and I can take great pride in this performance and the Man City one but, as expected, their class showed through in the end. We're really not getting the ball to Vlad although the introduction of Farrar after 78 minutes led to a mini onslaught and maybe I held out for too long for my American to find his feet.

---

With an overall month xG of  4.47 - 6.94, it is clear that we are a little short defensively and it is my full backs who have surprised me the most with their poor ratings.

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However, we are also sloppy in front of goal with just 7.5% of our shots turning to goals and I'm hoping that we can work on that as time goes on. However, my first aim is sorting the defence out - seeing why Haywood and Glasscoe are performing so badly and getting ourselves ready for a big month ahead:

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Saints finished fourth last year and are a constant European side as well as having the only 100% record as we head into the game but we are playing the other two promoted sides. We really need our first win of the season against one of those.

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N.B: I must say. This is slowwww compared to my usual 2D/Instant Result playing with irregular match updates and little detail but I'm really loving it. It definitely will fill the void whilst the player development section is on hold as a) it's hard to give kids minutes when you're, statistically, the worst side in the league and b) when you have no infrastructure at the club to assist you. 

Happy to change this format/develop it with some more gifs etc - so please let me know what you want to see!

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Not the best start in the league but tough to make conclusions after such a small sample.

As far as the updates, I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever angle you take (tactics, development, recruitment, etc.)

I like seeing GIFs (whether that's 2D/3D) to add some context to the players, give them a personality, point out things you're spotting, so on and so forth. I remember in your Portuguese thread you went into great detail with the winger Teles and how you trained him given things you noticed in matches.

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8 hours ago, tyler16 said:

Not the best start in the league but tough to make conclusions after such a small sample.

As far as the updates, I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever angle you take (tactics, development, recruitment, etc.)

I like seeing GIFs (whether that's 2D/3D) to add some context to the players, give them a personality, point out things you're spotting, so on and so forth. I remember in your Portuguese thread you went into great detail with the winger Teles and how you trained him given things you noticed in matches.

I'm reasonably happy with our start, to be fair. Our play is great - we are just a bit naive at the back and a bit shy up top but we have dominated and our style is great. I realise that this sounds a bit Biesla-esque but we'll be sticking to our principals this season, definitely.

I'll see what I can do in terms of updates but I'm very impressed you've remembered Teles! Here's a bit of (sad) trivia for you. I remembered the team we poached him from and the town he was from when it popped up in the news the other day:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/jan/25/four-palmas-players-and-club-president-killed-in-brazil-plane-crash

 

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September 2042: Commercial income

We may have been doing ok on matchday stuff (even though our stadium is 3x smaller than Plymouth's, the 2nd smallest) but we are getting hamemered commercially:

a0c2329ff05456547bd3a7029f7d77c7.png

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September 2042: Defensive frailties

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The above two goals are two of the three we conceded away at Southampton. My initial thoughts revolve around the system:

  • We 'stay on feet' which means we're not being as aggressive as we could be in 50/50's
  • We are 'forcing opponents inside' which is making our defence laterally stretched and leaving these pockets in the half spaces

I've turned both of those off as we move forward to see what change it makes.

 

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September 2042: When the luck is against you...

8806ea2eedadd705582005fc1b9398c8.gif

I would really like someone to explain how this is a penalty!

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Look where the ball is, the man is and where the contact was initiated!!

The penalty was missed but still...

 

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28 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

September 2042: When the luck is against you...

8806ea2eedadd705582005fc1b9398c8.gif

I would really like someone to explain how this is a penalty!

6a74fd36f09d542c40ef38b278c12643.png

Look where the ball is, the man is and where the contact was initiated!!

The penalty was missed but still...

 

Keita's foot is on the line when he is fouled. On the line is inside the box. Very tight, but pen is correct decision 

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17 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Keita's foot is on the line when he is fouled. On the line is inside the box. Very tight, but pen is correct decision 

Yep. Now I've calmed a little, I have to agree. Stupid tackle from Farrar though. Luckily, we escaped with a point but are still winless in 7 and deeply in the relegation zone...

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15 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Keita's foot is on the line when he is fouled. On the line is inside the box. Very tight, but pen is correct decision 

Sorry Ben, but I agree with this. On the line is in the box.

Can imagine your post game interview following that incident being quite true to life of harshly done to managers!.

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