The Importance of Youth
When you first take over
This guide is squarely focused on the youth and reserve teams and how crucial they can be if you want to build a dynasty in the future for your club.
For me, after you sort out your tactics when you first take over a club, you should always organise a match against your U/19 team. Here you can see the talent that the club has to offer you in future years, this can also be used as a great way to see if there is any potential money to be made in the reserve team. If there are players lying around in the reserves or youths who are never going to be good enough, it is a wise move to sell them at a decent price while they still have some market value.
The Reserve Team
The Reserve Team is primarily where all the duds in the team go, but I think that it can be used a little bit better then that. Obviously the guys who aren’t good enough for the first team should be in there. The standout players in your academy should also be there, so they get a chance to play with higher quality players. This means that your reserve team will have a squad of about 8 or 9 players who will play for that team only. If you then notice any of the players doing a good job in there, it may be worth sending them to the first team for some experience.
The Youth Team
The Youth Team is where all the brightest prospects at the club start their careers, and it is important that you give these guys the best possible treatment if you want to develop them into quality players. Because they are in the youth squad they are going to be playing regular football which is a good thing, you should also pay attention to their training, while you do not want it to be too heavy or strenuous, you want them to be improving with the facilities you have. I also suggest hiring coaches who have a very good “Working with Youngsters” .
The Development of Youngsters
Now I move to the most important part of the guide, and also the most important part for you as a manager in this area. Getting your youngsters to reach their full potential is a very difficult thing. It can also be the most potentially rewarding if you can develop a player from an early age into a world beater.
The way youngsters develop in real life is by playing matches, and this is replicated in FM, as there is no substitute for match practice. A good example of this is when you come back from injury, you can do all the training you want, but it is in the match where you find out how fit you are. The same goes with the development of youngsters, while training helps, it is match play where you find your feet as a player.
When you sign a youngster, the best thing you can do is have them train at the club for a year or so if they are under the age of 18. If they are about 20 then I think you should be doing something different but we will get there later. At the age of 18, you really want to be developing the technical and physical aspect to their game and the best way to do that is through training, as their technical skills will definitely be enhanced. At 18, they are probably not ready for first team football unless they are a genuine star in the making or perfect for the level your team is at.
If you are managing a club where you have a fairly talented bunch of players, then I would wait till this player is about 20-21 before sending him out on loan, unless he is an exceptional talent. Before I send him out on loan though, I would want him to be tutored by someone who plays in a similar position to him. This can hopefully build team morale and also gives the player a friend within the dressing room while learning about his craft.
So a player has reached the age of 20-21 when he is almost ready for first team football but he isn’t quite good enough, this is when you offer him out on loan to clubs. When you do this though, you want to make sure that he is going to be a “Valuable First Team Member” if it says that he will be a valuable back up, do not accept the offer, your player would be better off training at the club. When your player is out on loan, make sure you have scouts out there watching his every game, telling you how he is playing and whether he is adapting well to his new club.
The final thing you can do is play him in your first team. This is a bit of a risk as your player may not be ready or good enough to be playing first team football yet but if you throw him in the deep end he will definitely improve as the season goes on, and by the end of the season he may well establish himself as a starter in his particular position.
The key to a player’s development is making sure you are tracking their pathway to glory. Check their training attributes. Make sure that all their stats are on the rise and not on the decline, if they are on the decline then it may be time to alter the training schedules. As I previously mentioned, when you send a player on loan, compile match reports to make sure that they are improving and playing good football.
Here are some results of how your players can develop if given the right opportunities:
Trained at the club for a half a year before going on loan and now has been on loan throughout the current season
Was a fairly good player and I threw him straight into the first team, so he was playing at highest level and on my training schedule.
January same season
Original Thread: http://loswonderkids.com/community/topic/10106-the-importance-of-youth/