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Bedese

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Everything posted by Bedese

  1. Just caught up on this! Superb work as always, Jimbo
  2. Just to give a little bit more context on why Alpha and Omega, particularly (or, more to the point, a club based in that area): Wembley Stadium might be called the 'Home of English Football', but Wembley as an area won't be getting such a glamorous description anytime soon. According to Operation Trident - the Metropolitan Police Unit set up to tackle gangs in London - there are roughly 15 'major' gangs active in the borough of Brent, although unofficial estimates have put this number far higher. In Establishing the reality of gangs in Brent, gang-involved respondents answered questions relating to the prevalence of gangs in the borough with a majority saying it rated ‘9 out of 10’ whilst others rated it off the scale and a ‘big one’ and ‘crazy innit.’ One 17 year old said: ‘Yeah, people are shooting out of their windows; outta their ‘ouse. That’s the sort of stuff that goes down and it’s true." Brent is one of the youngest boroughs in London, but has the 5th highest rate of unemployment in the Capital. Combined with one of the highest poverty rates in the city, it's not exactly an area with a lot of opportunities for young people growing up there - hence the gang map above. Football is an incredible sport. It reduces grown men to tears, provides moments that reverberate through time, and makes dreams come true. Even more than that, though; it can be an incredible vehicle for change. Let's go and change things.
  3. Love the fact that we play at the local school!
  4. Alpha and Omega Hall of Fame: The players who've come through our academy that have gone on to best represent Alpha and Omega CF. Nations Tracker: A list of all the nationalities we've had at the club: Europe: England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Ireland Turkey Asia: China Oceania: Australia New Zealand Africa: Ghana Nigeria Zambia South America: Guyana North America: Jamaica
  5. If this thread sounds familiar, I tried it (albeit briefly) near the end of FM18. I'd really like to stick with this in the long term on 19, though. To add an extra bit of story, we're going to create a personal backstory for (probably) one of the new youth intake every year. They're not just players, after all - they're people too
  6. Alpha and Omega CF As aforementioned, Alpha and Omega CF are based just two miles away from Wembley Stadium, in Kingsbury. They're mainly a Youth Club, but their Senior Club competes in the Middlesex County Football League Division One (West) - Level 12 of English football. They're run by a guy called Clive Ellington, who is just as much a pastoral worker a football coach. Ellington is all about trying to help the kids in his local community stay off the streets, and what better way to do that than football? They're a perfect club for this save, which is: We're going to go Youth Only. We'll have kids coming through from the surrounding area - hopefully born near Wembley! - and see if we can develop them. This save is more about youth development than necessarily winning trophies - of course, winning trophies is always the aim, but I want to do what Clive Ellington did for Raheem Sterling with these youth players. There's a shedload of talent in Brent. Let's harness it! I've knocked up some kits for us - once we rise through the leagues we'll have our kits made by bigger companies with better sponsors, but for now we've had our home and away kit made by Patrick, kindly sponsored by the local Chicken shop in Brent that tastes equally as bad as it feels for your insides. Massive thank you to @BoxToBox for helping with the technical side with both the kits and logos: I said Youth Development is the main aim of the save, so what are the goals I've got in mind? Well... Firstly, I'd like to have somebody from our academy make the breakthrough for England. If that could happen when we're still in the lower leagues, even better! As this save is about Youth Development, I'm not going to be holding our players back. If a reasonable offer comes in for one of our players who's clearly capable of going onto better things, then they'll go with our blessing. Teams often sell prized assets to fund upgrades off the pitch, and FM doesn't really force that on you enough in lower league management. In this save, though, we're fine to be a selling club. We just want our players to go on to be the best they can be Winning trophies will always be important, but I'm totally fine for us to stagnate in the lower reaches of non-league for a while. As long as I don't get fired! Brent is an area with a lot of immigrants, so if we could get some youth prospects playing for other countries, that'd be superb too. The ultimate, probably-never-going-to-happen-but-worth-dreaming-about-anyway goal is to win the World Cup with an entire team made of Alpha and Omega CF youth prospects. Aiming high, I know Let's go play football!
  7. Just two miles away from Wembley Stadium, a football team can be seen practising in the local park. Wembley Stadium can be seen from there, and for the majority of the kids currently playing, they can see the Stadium from their house. They go home, and they dream of one day playing at that fated stadium - just like Raheem Sterling did. When Raheem Sterling moved to England at the age of 5, he lived with his family on the St Raphael's Estate in Brent, a notoriously crime-plagued community. Sterling could see Wembley Stadium from his house as it was being built, and told himself that he'd be playing there for England in the future. After helping lead England to the World Cup Semi Final, I think it's fair to say Raheem Sterling has turned his dreams into reality - but that likely wouldn't have been the case were it not for Clive Ellington and Alpha & Omega CF. According to Sterling: "But if I really think hard about it, the moment my life changed was when I met a guy named Clive Ellington. He used to mentor the kids in our neighborhood who didn’t have their fathers around. On the weekend, he’d take us on little trips around London and show us a different side of life. Sometimes we’d just go play snooker. Basically, anything that wasn’t our day-to-day. He genuinely cared about us. So one day he sat me down and he said, “Raheem, what do you love to do?” Simple, simple question, right? But I never really thought about it like that. At that point, I was just playing football in the street, biking around with my friends, being a kid. I said, “I love playing football.” He said, “Well, I got a little Sunday League team. Why don’t you come out and play with us?” And that was it. That moment changed my life."
  8. Growing up Down Wembley Way When the FA announced plans to rebuild Wembley Stadium in 2003, the new stadium came with a promise of making Wembley "one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe." They announced plans to completely transform what was a run down and deprived area, turning it into a vibrant, thriving part of the country. What did they actually do? They built some shops. Wembley resides in Brent, one of the poorest boroughs in London, and arguably the country. 33% of households live in poverty, with 32% of employees earning less than the London Living Wage, the second highest rate for any borough in the city. It's incredibly ethnically diverse - 36% of Brent is White, 34% Asian, 18% Black, 5% Mixed Race and 5% 'other'. However, it's also very run down, and the new Wembley Stadium redevelopment hasn't given much - if anything - to the local community. Brent had the 5th most homicides in London between 2000-2012, and has a bit of a reputation for knife and gun crime. It borders on insanity. You have the 'home of English football' built here. but apart from building some new (expensive) shops and flats, very little has been done to provide real regeneration for the local community. What the area needs is something to bring them together, to give them something to do and keep kids away from falling into the spiralling trap of the gang lifestyle. Something like a football team, maybe?
  9. I was reading the excellent book Thirty-One Nil, and this quote by Edson Taveres, the former Haiti National Team coach caught my eye: "I have never seen a country with so many talents like here. Players of 14 years old here, if you put them in Manchester United and Barcelona, they would be a great player. The problem is to be a great player you need to have good food, a good environment, good training, good doctors. So here there is nothing." It got me thinking that Taveres might well have a point. Talent can be found everywhere, but without the infrastructure in place to nurture it, that talent will never be realised. I began to think about it in FM terms. In FM, there is certain infrastructure that you can change. Through building up a club in a nation, you can improve the training facilities, the youth facilities, the level of junior coaching, and the reputation of football in the country (all things that have an impact on the quality of youth player coming through your club). However, certain things are hardcoded, and thus cannot be changed throughout a game. These include: Nation Youth Level Game Importance How Developed the Country is (Developed, Developing or a Third World State) The Economic Factor FA Economic Power I wondered how these hardcoded elements played into the level of quality that a youth intake in a certain country would see. Just how important are each of these factors in determining the quality of players that come through a nation? I decided to run a little experiment to put it to the test. I've got an affinity to San Marino, so I decided to run the tests in the Sammarinese League structure made by the excellent @claassen. This also meant that the players would be coming from a country with a small population, so we'd also be able to check whether population was a major hindrance on the quality of player coming through. Just like in any science lesson, we needed a 'control' set to be able to compare our results to. To set up the control, here's what I did: All 15 clubs in the country were given a reputation of 2000/10000 Every club was given 10 for Training and Youth Facilities, Youth Recruitment, Junior Coaching, and Corporate Facilities San Marino's Nation Youth Rating was set to 80/200 San Marino was listed as a Third World State They were given a 1/20 for Economic Factor and FA Financial Power I took control of all 15 clubs, and decided to run 50 simulations of youth intake day. 15 clubs * 16 players * 50 simulations = 12,000 players per test. Is this enough to draw any foolproof conclusions? Absolutely not. However, it should be enough to showcase any obvious trends. In the end, I tested 5 different scenarios. They were: The control test Bumped the Economic Factor and the FA Financial Power up to 20/20 Set San Marino to be a 'Developed State' Set the Youth Rating to 163/200 - as this is the highest youth rating in the database (Brazil) it made sense to choose this, rather than a 200/200 Set the Game Importance to 'Very Important'. Everything else in each test remained the same as the control test - it was important to only change the variables that we were testing for so we could prove a correlation. Each scenario was ran for 50 simulations, meaning 12,000 players in each test. I decided to track how many times a player with a PA over 120 was generated, as 120 is - to me, at least - the very baseline for a player to become a full international for a decent country. As an example of what I was tracking, here's a barchart for the control test's findings: Barcharts are nice, but to show how each scenario performed in relation to each other, I made this graph instead: And, wow! I knew that Youth Rating would have a major impact on the PA of players coming through, but I didn't expect it to be so conclusively the most important hardcoded factor. In all the tests, we had a similar number of 120-129 PA players, but every single scenario in which the Youth Rating was 80 failed to produce a single player with a PA of 170+ (which we could consider a 'star' player) - except for one solitary player when the Game Importance was set to 'Very Important'. However, looking at the general trend of the Very Important Game Importance, there is no real discernible difference to the other scenarios, and so we can likely chalk this up to a fluke occurrence. What does this all mean? Well, I'm not going to say anything has been decisively proven, because there are a myriad of factors that go into the quality of player produced by a nation. Instead, I think that it's safe to say that, out of all the hardcoded factors, the Nation Youth Rating is the major factor when it comes to determining the quality of player that is produced by a nation. Note - this is not the same as saying Nation Youth Rating is the most important factor entirely! Edson Taveres' argument makes sense - without the infrastructure to develop the players, their quality is irrelevant. Things such as Training and Youth Facilities, Junior Coaching, Youth Recruitment, and Club and Nation Reputation will have a huge impact on the quality of player coming through your club. However... A very popular type of save over on the FM Career Updates forum has been a 'Youth Only' challenge, in which the player picks a smaller, more obscure nation, and tries to win the Champions League and have international success with players produced purely through your academy. San Marino and Gibraltar are two of the more popular nations to try this challenge in, but are (unsurprisingly) extremely difficult. I wanted to know of some smaller nations that somebody could try this challenge with, but a nation that had the potential to lend itself to great success. Now that we know that Nation Youth Rating is really the only factor likely to make a monumental difference, what would be a good country to choose and try to carry out a 'road to glory' style save with? Let's take a look continent by continent, starting with the only two continents to ever produce a World Cup Winner.... Europe: San Marino and Gibraltar are two of the more popular destinations, but with the two lowest Youth Ratings in the continent are only recommended for the extremely hardcore! Turkey are surprisingly high on the list, with a Youth Rating at 124/200 - ahead of Holland and England! Serbia have a Youth Rating of 100, and have a history of producing some very talented players. Croatia are just behind at 98 - maybe you want to see if you can go one better than they did in 2018? To be honest, there aren't many European nations who aren't suited to this kind of save. Every country would have the potential to make a splash on the international scene if managed correctly - even San Marino, as demonstrated here by @Makoto Nakamura: South America: Venezuela has to be the choice here. The only South American nation to never qualify for a World Cup, it's a country in turmoil right now. They could really do with a successful football team to unite the country and find something to celebrate. North America: Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Cuba are the nations with the highest potential behind the 'big two' of America and Mexico. However, there's talent in El Salvador and Haiti, two countries that are maybe slightly less developed away from football. Oceania: Almost certainly the weakest continent in football, anybody who could take an Oceanian team to international glory would go down in history. New Zealand are the strongest team in the continent, but the Solomon Islands and Tahiti aren't too bad, either. Africa: When Taveres spoke about the talent not having the infrastructure to develop, he almost certainly could have had Africa in mind. Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria and DR Congo all have a Youth Rating of over 100. Sudan are probably the most surprising country high on the list, with a Youth Rating of 74. If anybody was interested in taking an African team to international glory, there's an absolute plethora of choices. You just need to sort out the infrastructure Asia: Not a country known for prominence in football, there's nonetheless a lot of talent here. Japan and South Korea unsurprisingly lead the way, but what is surprising is that Jordan, Iraq and Iran are all only just behind them. India and Bahrain are also high up, and who could resist the chance to take Syria to World Cup glory? The point of this post was first to share my findings from the 'experiment', but also to give an indication of which nations could become real international forces in FM with some development (or an excellent place to scout for players...). If anybody is interested in seeing the full list of every country on FM with their hardcoded features (including Youth Rating), I've included the spreadsheet I created as a file on this post. I'd seriously recommend a save where you try and take one of the countries on the list to international glory - it's a lot of fun! And if you are tempted by such a save, it's worth checking out the FM Career Updates forum, where people often try similar saves. Copy of FM Youth Ratings(2415).xlsx
  10. Cheers! I didn't even realise that 'experiments' was part of that subforum, I'd always read it as Challenges and Sign-Ups! I'll cross-post it in there
  11. Good question! GD just seemed like the most obvious place to put it, seeing as it was as much of a study behind some game mechanics more so than an actual challenge... if you think it would fit over there I'd be happy to post it there too?
  12. Youth Intake Day! Well, our defense is a lot stronger now! 3 balance? Please nobody push him when he goes up for a header...
  13. Season Review League: I might need to start playing the games instead of leaving it to my assistant, because this was a terrible showing. Cup: Ugh. Squad: Other Teams: Murata lost 3-0 to TNS from Wales in the First Preliminary Qualifying Round for the Champions League. Cosmos lost 4-1 to RFS from Latvia in the EL Prelimary Qualifying Round but Juvenes Dogana beat Riga (also from Latvia) 3-2 before going out 6-0 to Tallinna FC Flora from Estonia. Next year: We really should be looking to push for Europe by now.
  14. Youth Intake Day! 6'5, decent pace and finishing? Get yourself upfront, lad! Looks quite decent. 15 passing!
  15. We didn't make the league playoffs, so here's the abridged season review: We've lost twice in the final of the Coppa Titano now... third time lucky next year?
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