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[FM22] Youth academy only - from English tier 10 to Premier League - Worcester Raiders


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Hello, this is the first time ever I decided to post about my FM adventures. But I think this could be interesting one. I really enjoy the youth academy challenge and I wanted to try it at level as low as possible. So, English tier 10 leagues, here I come.

The club I chose - Worcester Raiders. Founded in 2001. This is their first season in tier 10, earlier they played in regional leagues, so they're pretty new team.


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Season 21/22 introduction

We start with almost the worst possible facilities (except the stadium). So our priority is to upgrade them as soon as possible since we're going to use only what we can get from our academy, no transfers in. Upgrades cost money and we don't have that either.



The stadium on the other hand is outstanding. The Sixways Stadium with the capacity of 12000, used mainly for rugby games. I don't think we can fill it up for a very long time ;)


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Meet the team

Manager, Tom Braider, local kid who played in youth teams, no coaching badges


Squad - we have only a few good players, rest of them is just worthless in terms of current ability. Some youths with great potential, but at this level even the 5* PA could mean nothing, we will see. The worst thing is that they are on non-contracts so we can lose them at any time.


Key players below


Ewan Mountjoy - at least we have a really nice keeper


Harrison Yates - solid central defender


Isaac Cooper - can play all the way on the right side, will be our DR


Harry Stratford and Ollie Mulders - two great central midfieldersharrystratford.thumb.png.5ab9f0cb5dba2030763c32b90c849540.png


Jordan Cox and Jordan Murphy - our firepower from the wings




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As I'm already in second season I'm gonna do a quick review of what happened in the first one. The worst thing is we lost 3 of our top players. Cooper left already in july, Mulders and Stratford stayed until new year but I couldn't convince them longer. That left us with a big hole in the central midfield as I didn't have any decent replacement.


Youth intake looks promising but none of them is good enough to make a difference at this moment. We will have to wait couple of years and hope at least some of them improve. John Bell will jump straight away to starting lineup as I don't have better options for second DC. Also Pat Tuffy, Jack Young and Marcus Hailey will fight for two availaible spots in the middle of the pitch. It's gonna be very challenging


Around november/december the board agreed to upgrade training facilities and youth recruitment but denied youth facilities. We used all of our money for that. In order to earn some I decided to arrange a lot of friendlies with U23 's of Premier League teams and by "a lot" I really mean it. Each of this friendlies gave us about 5k profit plus some earnings from FA Cup gates and we could afford it.


And I got my first coaching badge



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  • Ron_Swanson changed the title to [FM22] Youth academy only - English tier 10 - Worcester Raiders



Season 21/22 review

Great news! We won the division and gained a promotion. It's not a surprise because at the beginning of the season we were considered as second best team, so job done.



Our squad still looks very uneven. There are some core players who play in every possible game, and there's a bunch of kids I'm trying to rotate. Few of them improved a little so it pays off. (Details in spoiler). Jordan Cox was superb with avg rating over 8 and Jordan Murphy also contributed a lot. They're all still quite young so I hope there will be plenty more of that kind of performances.



Sebastian Skeete - he earned himself a starting spot on the right side in winter as I moved Parsons-Smith to the left. Even with unambitious personality he looks like our most improved player so far.


Vic Penny - he's our starting AMC from the beginning and sometimes plays as CM, very good passing, first touch and technique


James Davies - a solid 17 goals is what we wanted to see


Our results below. Slow start, but as the tactical familiarity increased the wins came. There were a friendly game mid-week between league matches to earn us some money and give some playing time to those youngsters who are not in league rotation now. As you can see in the finances it worked really well. The attendance though is very dissapointing. I bet it looks really awkward on our 12k stadium ;)







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Season 22/23 start

So we moved up to Midland League Premier Division and it looks it's not gonna be that easy like last year. We are predicted as a worst team here and the difference is quite big. The board expects us to fight bravely against relegation and to be competitive in cups, so at least there's no pressure for succes.


Here's what the squad looks like. I still need to figure out what to do with central midfielders, they look worthless with that 1-2 grey stars CA, everyone will get a chance to prove themself. But the great news is we managed to sign a part-time contracts with all of our key players with 1 year optional contract extensions so they are staying with us for another two seasons.


We still got a room in wage budget but there's no need to spend it all right now, we're good.


From this point I'll try to do monthly updates.

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July 2022

Friendlies time, again Premier League U23's, heavy loses but at least the money is good so I don't mind. Nothing interesting happened.



Income and expeditures are that high because of the costs of that friendlies but we still make a profit of around 5k for every match

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August 2022

The league started way better than I thought with four games without a loss. We're in a playoff spot, maybe the bookies were too harsh on us, lets see how long we can maintain this form. Also we won both preliminary rounds of FA Cup, it's already better than last season. The gate receipts from those cup games are really nice. Another month we make a profit as our expeditures are still very low except the "other"





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September 2022

That's where the trouble begins. A horrible month for us. Two games per week every week where I got to use my best lineup came really bad. Due to lack of depth in our squad we had problems with fitness and even some injuries. But morale are still good, we don't lose hope. We lost in FA Cup vs Leek Town who play two divisions higher, we did our best but it was not enough. Also sep 14th was the derby match of Worcester which we lost too, but 501 spectators is our all time record attendance in league games. september22games.thumb.png.4c2a1910be3e295d0da4c8ad5eaae225.png



That's the worst so far, he will miss whole october


But not everything went bad. I convinced the board to improve youth recruitment again, there's a chance we will get more talented youths. I've also tried with youth facilities but got denied. They said they rather want me to buy players who are already good for first team but we're not gonna do this. I'll try again in a few months.


And the last thing. Another coaching course completed


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October 2022

We are back on a winning track. 4 games in a league and 4 wins. We played against teams from lower half of table so there was a good opportunity to break the bad run and we squeezed as much as we can from it. No current injuries, some young guys look really decent performance-wise. We had a free week since we're no longer in FA Vase and that means more friendlies - money and some playing time for my backup players. Finances are still stable, another month with profit.gamesoct22.thumb.png.4c4645f60ac4e4d0e944f31fb1b1abd0.png




Another improvement to make a great youth academy. Junior coaching budget increase approved. I'm really happy with it


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November 2022

Another decent month. We are establishing our position as a mid-table team. I think with form like that we don't have to worry about relegation. Few more friendlies, my youngsters even won against Tottenham U23's although Spurs were way better, but one lucky goal and we got it. resultsnov22.png.410e9964f2eec4cdb516c59550670dc1.png




Talking about finances, we are in red this month, but guess why? Yeah, the option to ask for youth facilities upgrade shown up again and this time the board said yes without hesitation. I'm looking forward to see what the intake preview will look like next month but I know we're not gonna benefit from these upgrades quite yet. It takes couple of years but it will look better and better.


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December 2022

I'm still happy with league results, we get some wins and we wander around playoff spots. More friendlies when we have some space in our schedule, as usual. This month my key players gained a lot of attention. There's more and more club chasing them but I keep rejecting offers as they are only for 0$ so it's not gonna be beneficient for us in any way. I triggered all contract extensions so we're good until june 2024.resultsdec22.png.439a079d87c7d425848bea0ec9a6dd35.png



Youth intake preview came and I have mixed feelings. It's a 4* intake and only two positions have A grade. But I desperately need someone in the midfield and there's a chance we will get him this year. Also a striker would be nice. My current one, James Davies is performing really well with 13 goals in 19 games but I need some depth


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January 2023

Nothing interesting really happened. We add 6 points in league but lost in Midland League Cup 3rd round agaist team from lower division. Little dissapointing but this is the less atractive cup with very low prizes so I can live with that. Plus a nice moment when we beat Newcastle U23's where I had a chance to use my best lineup




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February 2023

Very sloppy form. Only one win and once again we couldn't beat local rivals - Worcester City. At least we have officialy avoided relegation. The squad is healthy and I even see a little improvement from some of our youngsters. This month also brings us more upgrades. First - youth recruitment - we had a little talk with the board but eventually they accepted. Then I thought why not try another one if they're so generous, and I got increse in junior coaching. Sweet. Future will definetelly look brighter.






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March 2023 - youth intake

Definetely not a good month, we lost most of our games but we're secure in mid table. Youth intake looks decent, everyone is a 4/5* potential (but are they really?) I'm pretty sure this group of youngsters is gonna have more quality than last years because our facilities are not garbage anymore so some of them will be used in first squad roation straight away.



Jason Powell - a whole 1* CA sounds nice, natural right winger but can also play as CM and that's where I'll puth him, because I want him to play as much as possible and Jordan Murphy at AMR is rock solid


Harrison Russell - he's the one DM mentioned in intake preview as a top talent. I'm considering to train him as a DC because he looks like he can play well in the air, but need to improve marking





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April 2023

Final games of the season. We did a little better than previous months. 7th place in league is way beyond expectations as we were considered as a relegation candidate. A lot of players got some game time throughout the season, I still try to fill positions where I don't have a star player so there's rotation of youths.resultsapr23.thumb.png.26521cffdb5d07592a412b9b155386cc.png



That's how the squad stats look like after last game



finances apr23.png

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May - June 2023

A break before next season, so no games, everyone's on holiday. But few things worth mentioning happened. I got offered a new contract with a small wage raise which I happily accepted. I also completed another coaching course and now I have National A Licence. Rising manager attributes, results above expectations even got me some interest from other clubs from higher divisions (one offer was from League 2) but I don't go to interviews as my goal is to lead Worcester to greatness. And we made one more step to accomplish it - we category 4 youth rating. Our facilities made a big leap forward through this season. Now I'm saving money for better training facilities, it's gonna take some time, maybe over a year.







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July - December 2023

A quick jump to the middle of the season. Very similar story - we're somewhere in the mid-table now, but we didn't have easy start, we were in the lower half for the entire time. My top talent Jason Powell broke his foot in the preseason games and missed over 3 months. Our FA Cup run ended one more round further than last year. We still play friendlies every week between league game so club's bank account grows slowly but steadily. All of my best players accepted new contracts until 2025 plus 2 year extension each so that's huge. We didn't get any facility investments - I try with training facilities but get denied every time due to financial situation so we need to save more money. But  Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment grew a little over time since last upgrade and now it looks way better than average tier 9 team - now we need time to improve all those youngsters.








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There's no rush for promotion but if I'll get a chance to be near the top of the table I'll definetely go for it. My young team is not ready quite yet if we're talking about skill level but going up could be very benefitial. Higher match day income, playing against stronger teams can help improve players, possibly better staff willing to join - it's all worth.

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March 2024 - Youth intake

The actual intake looks way better than preview. Possibly golden generation, everyone rated as elite talent. Even one with 2* CA already, but he's AML and I have last years youngster Matthew Ross on that side whos doing excellent job with 12 goals and 10 assists in 31 games so I'll have to split playing time between those two somehow. Few more 1*CA's - plenty to choose from.




Ewan Hercules - he's mentioned as a "diamond", pretty decent but unfortunately unambitious personality, he'll get some starts as a DR


Daryl Norton - the one with 2*, great technique, going into first squad rotation right away


Gavin Hughes - another left winger, it's getting busy on that side, nice mental attributes


John Cronin - I think he's a decent add-on to my rotation on defence, but unambitious...



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December - April 2024

What a second half of the season. We finished just one point away from playoff spot even though my best DC Harrison Yates broke his ankle in february and he's still not recovered. Squad is improving and I have much more hope before next season. I think we can do it and really be able to fight for promotion.





Meanwhile in january I completed coaching course for continental C licence


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July 2024

Friendlies time, as usual against top tier U23's. I wish I could have that attendance in league games. It still makes us around +5k net profit per game.



Season preview shows a lot of improvement, we're no longer the worst predicted team.


Due to high bank balance our budgets looks huge for this level. And as we don't plan to buy anyone I moved as much as I can from scouting budget to transfer budget and then all to wages. It ended at 4,7k per week, we spend 1,1k so we're more than secure for now.


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August 2024

A strong start of the season. We're scoring a lot. Just one unlucky loss against newly promoted Longlevens. Also we're past two preliminary rounds of FA Cup, I hope we will get at least as far as last year, because it's a good income source. Now we're going into probably the busiest month of the season where we will have a competitive games twice a week, so no room for friendlies. But now I have some squad depth so fitness won't be such an issue.




My two Jordans have the highest odds to become divisions top player. It makes me very confident about my overall squad quality.





Also Continental B Licence completed





Edited by Ron_Swanson
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September 2024

What a month! We won every single game. My young striker James Davies scored a total of 9 goals and had two consecutive hat-tricks. It's time to make a shot at promotion battle.






It's been not a long time since I've signed current contract but the board hit me with a new one already. Yet they don't want me to start another coaching course as they're affraid I'm gonna use it to leave for a bigger club.


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FA Cup 3rd Round

The draw put us against Chorley - they sit at 1st place in VNL North so way way above us. Let's see how it went




They were better on the field but with a little bit of luck we could've make it








And in the rematch they didn't gave us a chance. We're going home but we still have the FA Vase and a dream to play at Wembley one day



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November 2024

Mixed results but we keep the 1st place. Dissapointing loss in FA Vase so now we're left with only Hellenic League Cup which I don't care much about.





I was also able to convince the board with another youth recruitment increase and I'm pretty sure we now have the best academy among non-league teams.


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December 2024

Almost a nice month except a loss against Longlevens where we were dominating side yet we couldn't win. It looks like it will be a close fight with Slimbridge for the promotion.resultsdec24.thumb.png.c3e0e6c7d84075f001f932ee824c2d8b.png



Youth intake preview - says it's a good intake but one A-grade position and most of them got only "E". But as last year shown the preview could be far from acurate so I'm waiting until march.


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January 2025

Only 3 league games, just 1 win so now it's a point for point race at the top of the table. resultsjan25.thumb.png.74afb790509e168059745ad202b38f5c.png



Over 700k at the bank balance. We have so little expences (if not count friendlies cost) that it's not hard to make a profit month by month and the projections say we will keep that pace and be even richer. Yet it's still not enough to get the training facilities upgrade. If I remember correctly it shouldn't cost that much at this level. I wonder why the board thinks otherwise


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2025 Youth intake

Do you remember what the preview looked like? Well, what I actually got is... just have a look


Two players who are almost god-like level for us, few more that will used heavily in first squad rotation, plus a lot of potential. I'm really excited with this group of youngsters


Sean Quilty - finally great quality in the middle of the pitch


Jack Evans - he's already better than my legacy keeper Ewan Mountjoy - so going into first 11 straight away


Scott Steele - great physicals, good enough to be a starter


Luke Thomas - second best DC in the club at this moment


Callum Brooks - it's gonna be him or last years Ewan Hercules - one of them will be retrained to play at left side as I'm lacking a decent one


Edited by Ron_Swanson
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March 2025

Very good results. Too bad we didn't beat Slimbridge - again being 3-1 ahead and losing 2 goals near the end. But the reinforcements from intake made a real difference in last games.





Four games in april that will decide who's going up. We have a slightly better schedule and we're only 2 points apart


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April 2025

That's not how it should've ended. Slimbridge lost two games creating us a great chance to get past them but we failed miserably. Now playoffs, first game against Longlevens. We lost twice this season, so as they say: third time's a charm



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May 2025

First of all I present you player of the season, congrats Jordan - a future club legend


And here we come to most important games of this season. Semifinals - we were dominant the whole game but an overtime was needed. Two more goals and everything ended in our favor.


But job's not done yet. We go into the final


120 minutes of play and only two days of rest means we were low on fitness. But I couldn't risk putting my key players on bench. I chose the best squad I have even if they're tired.

We were better almost entire game, but man, we missed a lot and were very inconsistent on defence. Football gods decided we're staying in tier 9 for another year.


Finances - the same old story, we're stockpiling $$ but I'm still denied every time I ask for training facilities upgrade


At least the board and I finally have the same vision about our youth academy. After a small chat I convinced them to increase youth recruitment and junior coaching budget



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June 2025

Not much to say. Just a minor financial update and a season preview. Even without any games we're making a small profit, that means we're handling money pretty well. The board was very generous with new budgets, of course all of that will be converted into wage budget.

The bookies now see us as a best candidate to get promoted and everyone in the club is interested only in winning the league. It will be our 4th season in tier 9, time to move higher.





Edited by Ron_Swanson
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August 2025

Back into league action. Start of the season could be better as we're expected to be dominant this year. Unfortunately our cup run is over already in preliminary round against higher division Coleshill Town. The only good thing of this is I can focus more on league games in september and not worry much about fitness.





League match against Abingdon United - I have no words, how could we possibly not win this, just look at that stats




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September 2025

Good month, but we're still strugling with acuracy - a lot of shots that we convert into goals only in some games. Maybe it's because I have a very young squad and they just need to gain more experience. Anyway we're on a good track, near the top of the table and I believe it's gonna get even better.




Player of the month award for september and all three places for my players, very nice.


As a bonus - have a look at my new HoYD, I regularly scroll through staff search to see if I can get someone better to replace my current staff and suddenly this guy popped out. Great attributes, fairly determined personality and he's interested in job at Worcester - it's a no brainer for me.




Edited by Ron_Swanson
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November 2025

3 more draws, we're going for a record with this. At least other teams also lose points and we have taken the 1st place now but with very little margin




A big red in finances - that means one thing. We're upgrading training facilities, finally. It's very expensive but it's crucial in the long term. Next step will be youth facilities, it's gonna take a long time again to get all the money needed.


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December 2025

We're out of every cup for this year. And our first loss in league happened, too bad it was against Wantage Town - they are one of our rivals in the promotion race.




Youth intake preview - position wise it looks ok, I could really be happy with a good striker - my former first choice James Davies stopped developing and his potential dropped drasticaly so I didn't want to invest more playing time for him and instead I'm going with Russell Griffin from last years intake. He's doing nice, already a 2* CA but some rotation would be useful. Goalkeepers - my main goalie now is 16 years old Jack Evans and when he's out for national call ups (Northern Ireland U18) I use Ewan Mountjoy (he's also my cup goalie) - so another one is not necessarily a must but more depth is always welcome. Full-backs for better rotation sounds fine too.


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February 2026


3 wins and 1 draw - against Longlevens (a hard opponent for my team as previous seasons showed) so atleast they didn't cut the distance in table. A solid 8 point difference keeps us safe at the top.




I even asked the board for another youth recruitment upgrade, because why not? At first they didn't want to do it but I said pretty please couple of times and I got what I wanted. Just imagine what a beast our time will be in like 5 years.


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