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[Discussion] Is there a way to get "needed" players to ask for a contract? Or, even to get interested in us?

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Background - playing English 7. level Lewes (reputation 1 star). (I'm using a mod). Just started this game. Number of players in squad was low. Salary levels - some part time contracts, some out of contracts.

My problem here is, that players I'm scouting for and then asking to join our team just won't even discuss with me - 'Level of your team...'  Even if they are out of job!

Scouting every 'might be a good one' player would take too much time! How could I even get them to come on a trial? I wouldn't like to make a contract without decent info!


Question one. Now, in early pre-season, I lured Scottish Prem. team Aberdeen (reputation 3 stars) to have a friendly with us. We were pretty helpless, but lost ONLY 0-1.

Will these kind of news (decent game) get players I "need" to get interested in our team? And if yes, then... will they contact me, will they agree coming to a trial, someting else?


Question two. Are there any possible, or even a good way to get "needed" players to get interested in our team? To get that player to be scouted...

Do staff members have any "old relations" they could recommend?

Is there any way to get good suggestions from our scouts? Before giving them any assignments. I haven't found a way...


Question three. Asking my players for advice in signing - does it work?

Like: whether my   M/AM R 'Winger'    knows any good   M/AM C  'Playmaker'   who could be available?


BTW: with "needed" I mean player fitting into first eleven    (or better  ;-)

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First thing to remember is the AI match engine is broken, it cannot think and AI teams can be forced to play defensive/negative if you are more aggressive with your own tactics.  

Question One - The advantage of playing friendlies against a bigger club is the potential to raise some extra matchday income to help fund new players but unfortunately it will probably not help you find or attract any. Can also help clear some debt if you have been over spending on wages or appearance money

Question Two - Depending on your current Division and I guess country, try and attract players who play in the same division or lower, available on loan or older near retirement unattached Unfortunately once you learn the tricks, due to the AI match engine being so completely useless, it spoils the game as it becomes far to easy to get promoted. It is not luck there are no secrets, its not even clever requires no skill just an understanding with experience how to find the players you want. You do not need the best players just players that are good playing in the positions you want them to play in. In FM21 the highest rated players are not always the best, a good player in the lowest divisions can last for seasons since they just keep on playing well, even when their stats would make you think otherwise. If you are playing lower leagues to legends it usually only takes 3 or 4 new players per season to continue the rise to fame and glory plus maybe a couple of loans and always keep a look out for released veterans and you should get promoted season after season. Human Managers are 10x better than AI, SI can do all the tinkering they want with the screen GUI and appearance but its the heart of the game that is seriously broken - the AI Match engine. Ok there is more broken than just that its one of many.

Question Three. Where or how to find those players you need. Players in certain positions need certain specific attributes. Midfielders require passing, vision, tackling, work rate, stamina they are your teams engine. A BBM is critical as much as a DLP if you are not using a DM or a AP/BWM if you are using a DM. Finding the players comes to you in many ways, Media News, Division awards, scouts, your DOF and I guess recommendations (Never use them) the players search engine and just spending hours looking at other teams squads for the players you want, especially same or lower divisions or in leagues in an adjacent country. England use Scotland Ireland Wales. Setting up a specific player search in squad depth is a very useful wizard and the one I use the most. IF you are in lower divisions get the best loans you can they could be critical and some seasoned older players for experience. Also keep a close eye on teams promoted and relegated in your country and abroad, they might have the players you need that are now surplus to requirements.

TACTICS. First and most important, decide your teams tactics the formation and mentality. You only need two, Home away, think of it as Attacking Defensive , The match AI likes you to keep things simple and repetitive it build familiarity and team cohesion, that is what will win you most matches more than player attributes !! Usually keeping to the same mentality is a good idea - positive or attacking I never use defensive and rarely use attacking. 

Once you have your squad just play games and see how your players perform. I just move players to the positions they can play to find their best role. I ignore all advice either from staff or the game there all broken and usually wrong or misleading.  I always keep a close eye on a players development, players who train well usually play well. If for some reason you cannot find the player you want for a specific position, either get a loan or an older player on a single or couple years contract or best none contract and just an appearance fee. 


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Thanks for answering.

First, my problem most likely was, that I tried to find those players from leagues two (or more) steps higher. I thought that players not fitting into the first eleven might want to PLAY! But not that much! Maybe I start scouting other countries too.


Friendlies and reputation. Do you know, if they have coded these reputation change things well into the game? You play a frienly against a couple level higher team and manage to play well enough? If you can sign a well-known coach (or any staff) into your team? And so on. Of course, that kind of reputation will fade away pretty fast. Like news do.


Friendlies and income. How does the budget system work? Board sets some wage, transfer and scouting limits. OK. If I can get more income from friendlies, how are those limits reconsidered? In any way? If budget is positive in the end, then the board will be positive?


About that 'advice in signing'. I just thought, that SI could have implemented a good way to ask for advice in signing from players (or staff). Players have their past, they have played with a lot of other players, so question like: "Do you know any Playmakers, that could play in our first eleven and might want to come?"

That is a fair question, and in fact, we give our scouts that kind of assignments all the time... And, it still doesn't mean anything for sure.


Game is too easy. Agreed. Because we, players of FM, aren't managers in real life, we should mainly be on the losing side. It would be nice to see results, if, let's say, half of the players would be real FM players, and the rest AI players in one league. Also, analyzed results from a set of AI vs. AI games would be nice.

BTW. Some time ago here was some discussion about an IRONMAN mode for FM. I voted for that. IRONMAN with difficulty setting 'REAL LIFE'! Yeah!

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team reputation appears to be based on promotion/relegation and a good cup run. Newport for example started on 3850 in SBD2 then after promotion to SBD1 increased to 4255 and 4655 when we reached SBCL (Sky Bet/Div) then we won the League Cup and it further increased to 5076  and later that season we won promotion and finalist in the FA Cup and reputation jumped to 5538. We went on to win the FA Cup and it increased to 5717 and then pre season for EPL Jun, it was 5929. There doesn't appear to be any way to find the actual clubs reputation its only by those silly stars but looking in the editor I know our reputation is the lowest Forest are on 6433 twice European Champions and Leeds are on 6947 now in their 3rd EPL season both of them well known clubs unlike poor Newport. 

How the match AI decides what players are actually good or bad is beyond me, but that is also true for real so I guess that is what is called hit or miss, trial and error. You just stumble over a player who plays well and accept it be thankful for it or as I find a certain player can make the team play well and without him they struggle. I like to build my team around a solid reliable BBM and they are first on the team sheet. I just love Longstaff released from Newcastle when they got relegated not a great player or a star but he just works for me. Then I have Christopher Missilou as a DLP and Adam Philips as a AP who have played a couple season together and built up cohesion. I have bought better players since we moved up the leagues but to be honest there only used as backups. Then in goals I have Nick Townsend again I have better choices but I see no reason why he needs to be or should be replaced. 

Going back to playmakers as I do for all my players, I hammer them in training by continuously making them do new traits. I ignore attributes and personal current/potential ability I buy players whose core attributes are already good for the position I want and any improvement in them or others is a bonus. WHO cares if a player has a potential of 155 when his current ability is only 100 if his tackling is say 11 he will never be a good defender or under 6"2. unless he is retrained as a wide wing back and I rarely retrain defenders I try and make them better at what there already good at.  Potential ability is plain silly only a guide, a bad one. A good player is not made there born. No one ever made Gazza a great player, he had it in him from birth a born superstar. SO I just get a player who looks good whose attributes fit and try and make them better. But that needs the best coaches you can find, good coaches make better players without good coaches no amount of training is going to work. Same goes for your team leaders and mentoring you need to keep working on players. SO you need to keep a close eye on players individual training and development, and as I have said I hammer them in training to make them better until they almost break and then only then ease off. Some players really hate me others love me, give it time you find a balance.  But am I not creating good players from one who was average? Yes and No. You will never make a bad defender a good one maybe only better unlocking their potential.  You will never make a striker with current pace  of 11 improve to 18 physically impossible but with fitness training they can significantly improve stamina work rate endurance etc. I was always fast at school but with proper professional training I ran faster for longer yes I was a sprinter but I was also pretty good at cross country and over longer distances. Technically at football I was useless but cos of speed it mattered not if a defender cant catch you and being tall I made both a good defender and striker although I was a little to to aggressive and rough in the eyes of some referees, erm most of them.

Don't get me wrong I do understand why the game has current/potential ability it is relevant as much as irrelevant. But you find young wonderkids who have or almost have maxed out the potential/current abilities before there 21. plain daft and wrong since there bodies are still growing. Why are EPL players fitter cos they train harder? or have better coaches? A good sports scientist should improve every player same for all coaches. If you improve your coaches it should benefit some players a lot and others maybe only a little and I guess a few none cos they will always be useless.

But I can also understand just how difficult this would be to program into the game, certainly not impossible but its another area of the game that needs work, refining,,,, Give them time but their collaboration with SciSports should go some way towards providing the data needed to drastically improve the game and its AI algorithms. We can but hope.

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