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SFraser

A Guide to Developing Youngsters

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Introduction

I have written some threads on this before but they tended to be very user unfriendly, and I am also really enjoying the strides FM has taken recently towards being more "naturally football-like" rather than a good but very abstract simulation of football. In that vein I want to produce a guide to developing youngsters that does two things:

A: Actually works and people can follow for success.

B: Discusses player development in a wholly "football-like" way.

Player development is one of the toughest parts of the game and for very good reasons. It requires a lot more attention invested into the day-to-day going-ons at your club, it is very long term with very few quick results and quick feedback, and it requires a great deal of risk taking and faith in players. While most of us will have developed the odd gem every so often, few of us will have managed to replicate the feats of Wenger and Ferguson when it comes to consistently developing First Team players as well as a whole raft of other players that can be found playing in teams slightly below the top 3-4 teams in European Leagues.

I think the reasons for this are obvious. First of all player development is not easy in and of itself. It's not necessarily difficult but it's not a plug and play element of the game. You get back what you put in. Secondly FM itself ingame rewards football thinking while almost all player development debate and discussion revolves around min-maxing and mechanic busting and long complex discussion about abstract concepts. No one has yet written a footballers guide to player development in FM that is good enough to actually help people.

I will break this guide down into the following sections for ease of use and ease of referrence, and to stop myself wandering a bit towards the end like I tend to do:

Section 1: Why Develop Players?

Section 2: What Can You Expect?

Section 3: What Do You Need?

Section 4: Preparing Players.

Section 5: Developing Players.

Section 6: Conclusion/Final Thoughts.

Section 1: Why Develop Players?

The main reason why managers start to develop players is money. Cristiano Ronaldo cost Manchester United a heck of a lot less than he cost Real Madrid and even if Ronaldo was earning £10 million a year at Manchester United in wages the club would still have made an overall profit in his sale on top of his contributions to the team. This crucial financial element never changes and is one of the key factors that should always be taken into account when starting the whole development process at your club. The manager should start developing players based on the idea that they can be sold atleast for as much as they cost the club during their time at the club. Youth Development is all about a zero sum game in terms of cash, with the odd gem that makes the entire process profitable whether he is sold for megabucks or kept as a first team player.

It is unearthing this gem from an overall no cost or minimal cost process that is the point of youth development. Instead of spending £25 million on a winger, you spend £25 million and recover £25 million over a period of several years of youth development and eventually unearth that winger, or discover someone else that benefits your team and allows you to play with some other winger in your team or even without wingers. It's about improving your team for the minimal cost possible.

Some clubs are in a position not to have to do this due to having megabucks, some clubs are in a position where this is all they can do to keep competing at a specific level. Other clubs are in a position where they don't have to do this but can't afford to let gems pass to their rivals and develop into players that become awesome for the opponent team. Youth development is a key part of the whole football process going on in FM. Believe me when I tell you that you will regret it when you arch rivals suddenly line up against you with some Off-The-Ball 18, Anticipation 18, Composure 18, Finishing 18 teenage forward that you hadn't spotted in the game before.

In my current save precisely this happened recently. A youngster that looked a bit promising but was very young and a bit of a risk turned up at some obscure Dutch club and the top sides in my league were all keeping an eye on him. None of the top sides made a bid and he went to Tottenham. A couple of seasons later he turned up in the Tottenham line up looking like the following image and the top four let out a collective d'oh. Klinsmann is in charge of Tottenham with his 20 Motivating and I play them next with one first choice Centreback suspended and the other first choice Centreback unfit after just returning from injury. Yay.

29up0y9.jpg

He might only be third choice forward with those stats in my club, but I would still rather own him and then sell him to Valencia or Roma rather than see him line up for Tottenham and potentially move to Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona or Milan.

Regardless of whether I want to develop players, am any good at developing players, could be bothered developing him etc. let Tottenham develop him was a management error on my part. It was a player development error. Player development can also be a very active and front line part of the contest between clubs. It might start off as a financial issue but as you spend more time with this area of the game it starts to grow and develop itself in terms of importance and function. The financial basis for player development starts to evolve, into a battle for who can find the next gem and for who can deny the competition access to the future stars of the game.

The financial issue might be the basic reason for developing players, the race for the next generation of top players and denying rivals the next generation of the top players might be the "mid-game" aspect of player development, but eventually when you spend even more time on this area of the game the reason why you should develop players evolves again and take the game to a whole new level.

The truth is that the main reason why you should develop players is remarkably simple. It vastly improves the game as an interactive experience. It radically enhances the experience and enjoyment of the game. Once you start getting youth development and player development working well then your club literally becomes a group of players that you are moulding, manipulating and interacting with regularly to push your club forward. It's only when the majority of your time in FM is spent moulding and developing and evolving both your players and your team that FM truly spreads it wings as the greatest management simulator around. Players turn from spreadsheets into characters, characters you can radically adapt along certain lines while along other lines retaining key crucial traits that are a nightmare to adapt. Thus players can greatly grow under your management yet still retain their own individuality and unique behaviours.

And once you get to this level in FM you no longer see dots or dodgy looking stickmen in your replays, you see people, you see individuals, you see carefully sculpted and brilliantly simulated players. And this is when FM becomes a work of utter genius and a computer game that for a football fan is without rival.

Section 2: What Can You Expect?

Me enthusing loudly and prolifically about FM is nothing new and so the question "that's all great and all but does it actually work out that way?" is completely valid. It is important to know whether or not the effort and attention required to involve yourself in Player Development can actually pay off, and indeed what sort of returns can actually be expected? Because surely if one gem is developed every ten years, a First Teamer every five, and someone for Backup every 2 then it is hardly worth the time and effort getting the sleeves rolled up and micromanaging a whole bunch of extra players.

This is one hundred percent completely valid and so this section of the guide is devoted to showing what can be done in game when you commit to the player development process. This section will show what I have achieved in my current save obviously using the very approach I am writing about in this guide.

I will tell you that what you can expect from Player Development is very, very impressive atleast in the first decade or so of a long term save. What I have achieved in my current save is beyond anything I have achieved before by a large margin and I take great pleasure in stating that this save was done 100% "pure" with no sneaky peaks at hidden attributes or PA values or any of that sort. It is actually quite interesting to me that the save where I put down the utilities that enabled me to see the guts of the game, see the workings of players and formed some of the basis for all my previous guides on different areas of the game is the save where I have run my club almost to perfection.

I was at the heart of a lot of discussions on mix-maxing and this and that, which I now find ironic because although it did furnish me with a lot of knowledge about how things work, I have found that how you achieve maximum success in FM is by treating it on entirely footballing terms. All my recent guides and threads now follow in this vein, and it is because I am thoroughly enjoying this football game even more by treating it like football.

What you can expect from youth development when you approach it with detail and commitment and on footballing terms is the following:

These are all the players in my First Team Squad I have personally developed in my six seasons at Manchester United in my current save:

Defenders

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Midfielders

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Forwards

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The oldest player here was 19 at game start, the youngest was 12 and is therefore a pure newgen, infact I believe only two out of the six here are real players but I could be wrong. I personally hunted out each of these players and had to buy them all. They cost me a grand total of £25.8 million altogether and are now worth £98.6 million altogether. That is an increase of £72.8 million in six years. Four World Class players and two highly excellent young defenders that look as if they too will become World Class. That's over half a first team for a World Class club like Manchester United in only six seasons, and the sixth has barely started.

You will notice that these players are all busy players. By busy I mean that when they play they tend to do something. My fullbacks both have assists from two starts, my striker has 8 goals from 5 starts. Even the underperforming Douglas Costa has two assists in 7 appearances. These players are not for show they are for winning football matches and you will notice that every single player barring the youngest has a Determination score of 18 or higher. I am infact packing two 19's and a 20 Determination in a bunch of players that came to my club at age 19 or younger. These players are top, top level footballers.

If I can do this so can you, but I will be honest and say I do not expect the vast majority of you to pour over the details of the game like I do. I do pay an enormous amount of attention to detail and consider every weakness anywhere in my club to be an error made by me. But like I said the games gives back what you put in, so it is up to you. Take a year to play six seasons and you too can produce players of this calibre on a regular basis. It is entirely up to you.

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Section 3: What Do You Need?

In the words of Roy Keane "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail". Preparation is king in FM but is all the more so crucial when it comes to Youth Development because the pre-existing youth team mechanics are awful. The best, top level, maximum quality pre-existing youth team setup in FM is a bunch of players sometimes playing a few really poor games that are kicked into the reserves when they are too old and replaced by a bunch of randomly generated teenagers. That's the greatest youth system in the world if the manager doesn't get involved and sort it out. It is horrific.

I will tell you a few other things about "inherant" youth development in FM. The average club setup is not merely not conducive to Youth Development, it actually inhibits Youth Development. If your first action when you take over a club is not a root-and-branch re-organisation of the club and you just go along tweaking a few things here and there to the basic setup of your club then you will never be able to develop youngsters remotely well.

The truth of the matter is simple. To develop youngsters to the level I have done in the preceding post you must turn your entire club into a Youth Academy with a First Team sitting at the apex. This more than anything else is the real challenge in youth development. To consistently develop World Class youngsters you need the ability to turn your club into a World Class youth Academy. If that sounds like too much effort that is fine. This thread is about ultimate success at a more marginalised area of the game and is thread for the hardcore FM gamer. You get back what you put in and there is no wrong in putting in great or little and getting back great or little. It is your choice.

Keep in mind that lower level clubs are not going to be able to achieve high level results, so scale appropriately. I don't play much lower level football. I perfect my management ability at the club I support.

Because this section contains the meat, the guts, the main content of this thread I will subdivide it into further sections for clarity:

1: Scout Network.

2: Club Composition and Relationship Between Squads.

3: Mentors.

4: Feeder Clubs.

5: Staff Members.

6: Training.

Subsection 1: Scout Network

Youth development begins with building up a scouting network capable of finding you good high potential young players. Make no mistake that the usual influx of random youth players will cost you money and take up starting positions that better youngsters could use. You are not running a charity here. Most of your youth team really should be made up of the best players you have spotted around the world and managed to pinch on the cheap and you should be willing and even eager to get rid of any dead wood in your youth team to make room for better players. If you keep rubbishy players at your club and then sell them, away goes a Homegrown slot from your First Team Squad. A quality player signed early from abroad will become Homegrown and actually play in your First Team Squad. Keep this in mind.

A scout network is basically a "net" of eyes to quickly find lots of youngsters, backed up by a few trusted scouts to send out to give back detailed reports on their actual qualities and potential. The key is to find and highlight youngsters as quickly as possible, as early as possible, and to try and not leave any gaps in your "coverage" for gems to slip through and for opponents to find first.

Coverage is relatively simple and quite sneaky. Assume that many tens of thousands of other scouts are out trawling through the world looking for gems and that players prefer to go to the better clubs in the higher reputation leagues. So in theory quality players should slowly filter up through the leagues and eventually find their way to the top clubs. This means that you want to put good scouts to work watching the best leagues for any players that filter up through the football pyramid. If you put a scout to work scouting La Liga then you are pretty much getting the benefit of every scout in La Liga, albeit the player you find will probably cost you more. However this means you are unlikely to "miss" the rise of top talent completely. You might just be a little late to the party.

That doesn't get them early though, that just stops you being completely unaware of them. To get players early you need to go scouting as many Youth Leagues as you can afford to send scouts to, and you definately want to scout those youth leagues/nations that have a tendency for producing excellent youth. Like Brazil for example. Even if they are not loaded up they will still produce regens and newgens.

A top class scout network might be allowed 18 scouts.

I would distribute them like this:

Truly awesome ultimate scout with superb reputation is your "Head Scout" and I would send him to scout "World" while his real job is to go and watch three matches of every interesting player that turns up in another scout report. I have two of these guys for increased speed of compiling multiple scout reports and for double the likelyhood of a "World" search actually finding a good player. It's quite rare.

Good scouts in all of the top leagues in your game. Premier League, La Liga, Serie A are no brainers. You can quite feasibly stop there with scouting the top leagues if you like. In theory all the best players in the game should eventually end up there. For early spotting you might want to go for Brazil, Argentina, Holland as well although the Dutch seem to be underwhelming in FM for youth production. Having said that our friend Fritz Michels is Dutch so you might want to ignore me on that point.

The rest of your scouts should be set to scout as many youth leagues as possible, including a couple from your own domestic leagues. The key here is not so much the quality of the reports but your scouts viewing a huge amount of youngsters in a short period of time so you can use the Transfer Filters to find good targets. It's far more effective to be able to look through the attribute panels of hundreds of players rather than waiting for good reports on tens of players, albeit a lot more time consuming for the player. The filters help though, and you can find players for positions easily enough.

However you choose to set up your scout network, scouting is utterly vital. A club that is very good at developing youngsters is a club extremely active in the transfer market. You are just buying and selling for your youth team.

Subsection 2: Club Composition and Relationship Between Squads.

While all youth development begins with an effective and efficient scout network, the most vital, crucial, core aspect of youth development is how the manager organised his club. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff, literally. Do you have a handful of wheat or several piles of chaff?

A club is not composed of two or three different clubs. A club is composed of two or three different types of matches and a whole bunch of players trying to improve themselves and win football matches. The most important thing by far when it comes to Youth Development is to completely wipe away the prior conceptions of "First Team, Reserve Team, Youth Team" and instead have a single united club where every player is known by the manager, understood by the manager, developed by the manager, and has a place in the overall heirarchy of the club. The worst thing a manager can do is have too many players for the amount of matches his club plays, or have too many players for his management ability.

There is a simple test to find out if your club is poorly organised:

Go into a save that is at a very busy time of the season, such as Christmas in the Premier League. Go into your First Team Squad and click the filter options and show Reserve Team, Youth Team and tick "Hide Unavailable".

If there are any players that Lack Match Fitness in your entire club that are not just back from a serious injury then you have far too many players for the amount of football at your club.

If there are any players you don't recognise and know nothing about then you have far too many players for your personal ability to manage.

It's that simple. Youth development relies entirely upon having a club size and club composition that you can manage. If either of the two apply to you then you need to start taking the axe to some contracts if you want to effectively develop youngsters.

The next thing to realise is that the only difference between all the different squads at your club is that First Team Players wont get picked for the Youth Team, and the Reserve Team Players wont get picked for anything but the Reserves. Having players in the Reserves is a bad idea. Players in your Youth Team will be picked for Reserve Matches and players in your First Team you select for Reserves will play in the Reserves. This means more football for these players, and football is good for footballers.

The only difference between players at your club should be those players that will play Youth Team and Reserve Team football but are unlikely to play many First Team games, and those players that will play First Team and Reserve Team football but not many (or any) youth team games. That should be the only difference. And between all those players you should have a nice, balanced, deep squad of say 4 or 5 players per position to play all the football your club is involved in.

Let me show you what my Reserve Team looks like:

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And here is my club, i.e. all the players I am managing this season:

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Now this isn't Christmas time this is September, a month after the season kicked off. The only players at my entire club that are not match fit are Vidic and Evra who got injured a good few weeks ago. Infact my current management decision is to play the unfit Vidic because Chiellini is suspended or to not risk someone who will be badly off form even if he is awesome, and wait for a reserve game to get him fit? But that is for a different thread.

The composition and relationship between squads at my club is absolutely key to my success at player development. If you look through my club you notice it is extremely strong without being superfluous and unwieldy. I have five Goalkeepers at my club playing all the football at my club ranging from my 42 year old decrepit backup veteran that barks orders at my defence to my two 17 year old hot prospects taking turn about in the under-18's. I went slightly overboard with the Rightbacks because my Rightback slot was weak, but I found a few peaches in that pile and it's no bother to me to send a few packing.

That's 50 players at my club playing in 3 different types of matches, or slightly under five players for each position on a football pitch with three games a week on average. That's a good squad. That's a really well organised club. That's a proper heirarchy that is reaping immense rewards.

This, in my opinion, is the biggest difference anyone can make to their club, whether it is youth development or squad discipline or competition for places or club morale or finance or anything. This mind-numbing "first load" trawl to actually set up a football club is in my opinion the best and most important thing I do in any save, and once it's done the first time it's oh so simple to keep going and keep running and really rewards with vast dividends in almost every area of the game.

You don't have to manage the Youth and Reserve Team matches (I most certainly don't, I would only be starting season two if I did) but always remember your job is to manage a club, not a squad.

Subsection 3: Mentors

This is a crucial part of developing individual players and this is one of the areas where a well organised club like shown above reaps absolutely immense dividends. Mentoring is crucial because it develops and improves a players personality and attitude to all aspects of football, from on-pitch "Determination" to pre-match handling of "Pressure" to media "Controversy" and such things. Mentors are the key to maturing players because players tend not to mentally mature much on their own in FM. Maturing a players personality and attitude is crucial to improving his performances, which not only makes a great deal of difference once he turns into a £40 million superstar, but also actually enables him to get there instead of becoming a "nah can't be bothered today boss, and by the way I want to leave because you said I played poorly last week" dud.

A well organised squad like the one above, with on average five players per position and most players in the First Team Squad, will automatically give you nearly one mentor for every youngster at your club. This means that the vast majority of your players in your Youth Team will be getting mentored for as long as they are at your club.

This is another truly vast asset to player development, and is produced and enabled purely through intelligent and rational club organisation. It makes sense to have five goalkeepers at your club and so your two youngest goalkeepers can automatically be mentored by your two most mature, and so on. This is where you start to see signs of the "conveyor belt" system I described for Arsenal and Manchester United in real life start to appear in your own save.

The "rules" for mentoring seem straight forward and I can tell you that I know for a fact they are different to the general consensus.

1: There seems to be no age limit for mentoring a player. Maybe 30 but I have not seen that as I have no 30 year olds that need mentored.

2: A mentor can be the same age or older than the mentoree, but it doesn't look like it happens if the mentor is younger.

3: A mentor must be considered "better" than the mentoree in the eyes of the footballing world.

4: They must play in similar positions.

5: Players that fit all the above but where the Mentor has a really different personality to the mentoree, will fall out.

6: If you mentor a player with someone with lower Determination, it will drop. This can sometimes be okay if you want him to mature in other mental areas, and then mentor him with a Determined chap later.

I'm not going to speculate on what the different options do. I pick "perfect model" for all my players because my First Team Squad is so awesome and we have such a great relationship. That's still the most important part of the club and I know that well.

Subsection 4: Feeder Clubs

The feeder club is a huge asset for the manager. It allows you to keep more players than you can effectively manage on your books, while offering furthered development for those players that gain little from youth and reserve football but are not good enough to get many First Team starts. Look through your own club for players "severely lacking match fitness". Those are places in your squad that could be being filled by youngsters on loan to a feeder club of your choice.

There are two "types" of feeder club to the youth development manager. These have nothing to do with ingame represenation or "mechanic module" or anything else, but are entirely based on the practicality of managing a squad. Once you learn to develop youngsters you start to understand what a club needs to have even if there are no obvious clues in the game or the manual to tell you this before hand. That's why I'm here.

The two types are:

1: The holding club for players that are not great but you don't want to sell yet. Players you think have awesome potential but need a vast amount of your attention to develop and you can't give them that attention yet.

2: The development club for players that are good but need regular football at a level much higher than your reserves to kick on and start fighting for a place in your first team squad.

Alot of people give the choice of league a heap of consideration. The choice of league is easy, a league below you for the development club and two leagues below you for the holding club. Choice of league is obvious, what really matters is choice of manager.

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My players go on loan to develop, and the last thing I want is a manager that can't see their skills and has a habit of constantly falling out with players. I want a manager that can the best out of these players, and in Owen Coyle I have picked a gem. Best manager in the league bar none, and the perfect man to manage the guys I send on loan. It doesn't matter how the club does, I know the manager will do my players well. That's what matters.

It all seems so simple doesn't it? You get back what you put in.

Subsection 5: Staff Members

Staff members that are involved with Youngsters follow the same principle as above, they must be capable of handling youngsters and motivating them, and either training them well or helping them to results in their matches. Good performances and good results equals increased development. A good run the Under-18's Cup is worth it's weight in gold development speaking.

Youngsters tend to be a difficult bunch to handle. Their personalities are not developed and they are rash, brash, bold and pretty stupid. Any long term member of this forum will agree with me. It's important to surround your youngsters with the right people, not simply people with the attitude you want to see in players but people with an attitude that is forgiving to youngsters, that works well with youngsters.

And perhaps the most important facet of this issue is the man you pick to manage the Youth Team Squad.

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This is the man I specifically headhunted to be Youth Team Manager at my club. He plays a similar style of football to me, Adventurous with Zonal Marking and Mixed Pressing. He plays 4-4-2 while I play 4-4-1-1. I can be confident that the Youth Team match feedback I get and pore through makes sense to my team. But most importantly he is a perfect judge of potential, a great handler of people, a good disciplinarian and motivator with sound tactical knowledge whose forte is youngsters.

I consider myself extremely lucky, privilaged, and potent to have this man managing my Youth Team, but it was me that hunted him out.

Subsection 6: Training

This is a test of two things: Your patience and your desire.

Training is far from the most user friendly area of the game but that doesn't diminish it's importance. Training is crucial in the development of young players. There are two points to this process:

1: Finding and training the position that best suits his attributes.

2: Highlighting and focusing on both his greatest strengths and his greatest weaknesses.

Some players emerge in such a way that they are clearly not suited to their initial role. You can either write these players off or you can train them to perform in the role they are built for. All it takes a good eye and the patience to look through your players profiles do to the latter. And often the latter is worth it. I have seen many horrible Centrebacks that look like excellent Fullbacks. Same in midfield with many horrible CM's looking like ideal WF's. It sounds like an FM weakness but complaining doesn't achieve results unless you are lucky enough to be listened to for the next version. Either way it doesn't help your current save.

Highlighting strengths and weaknesses however is more "natural" and more "important". You are not trying to train a "God of football" from the youth team, your task is to shift meagre attribute changes around in such a way that this player is capable of doing some kind of job in a better team. The bottom line is that if he can't do any kind of job well then he is doomed regardless of PA, he simply wont perform well enough while he sucks to gain the required increases. Your job is to take an epic potential youngster and turn him into a rather one dimensional useful player, because that's when he can start racking up starts and performances that carry him forward.

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Section 4: Preparing Players

In the previous section I explained what you need to develop players. Now I will explain what comes after the ground work has been set, and that is the fundamental, crucial, integral elements of actively developing them. The first and greatest of these is Preparing Players. After you have turned your club into a Youth Academy and set your mind to task of developing players, the first and most vital active thing you do with any player is prepare them to develop. This is by far the most important step you take with indvidual players. The club you build gives you the greatest environment for development, but hoe you prepare players is what defines whether or not each individual player can achieve his potential in that environement.

Understand what I am saying here. You have build an evironment that is productive for youth development, a significantly potent system for guiding players through every stage of their development. But for each individual player nothing matters more than you how well your prepare them to undertake this journey. Preparing players is the most crucial element of any individual players journey.

Without any shadow of a doubt the most crucial thing in the preparation of each individual player is the development of their personality. There is a player development "rule" that I follow to the letter, that is borne out from several years of investigation into development and training and reputation and myriad other "under the hood issues". You don't need to know the detailed mechanics because I don't pay attention to the detailed mechanics. What matters is the core footballing principle. Player development depends on the relationship that follows:

Personality x Match Experience x Level of Football.

This is the player development "triangle" as I harp on about at great length. It matters. Nothing matters more to the development of any individual player. Regardless of which league you play in, who you want to improve, what you are doing, anything. Regardless of all things whenever you want a player to actually improve this is what matters.

And because it matters so much it has two clear consequences:

Players benefit most from their time in your Youth Team and Reserves when their personalities are developed as much as possible.

Players benefit most from their time on loan when their personalities are developed as much as possible.

In short players benefit the most at any level with any quantity of football when their personalities are developed as much as possible. This makes preperation both an easy and a nailed on "you-must-do-this" issue. You simply must develop personalities as soon as possible. Developing personality doesn't require match practice, it doesn't require a level of football, it requires only mentors. Mentors are key to all development. Mentors define youngsters.

I have an unwritten rule at my club (Manchester United, I'm sure most of you spotted that). That rule is that anyone under Determination 13 will fail, anyone over Determination 16 will succeed. Failure might be he is sometimes awesome but usually ****, success might be he is always average, but anyone between 13 and 16 is a loose cannon and anyone under it someone I cannot trust. At any stage of development and First Team behaviour.

This is a profoundly crucial issue. I have sent many Determination 17 players to my "holding feeder club" because their skills sucked, and I always get messages about "League One Player of the Month". I have sent a lot of quality youngsters with Determination 13 to the Championship and they come back saying they would have learnt more at Old Trafford.

Because of that I have a simple rule now. If your Determination is under 15 you don't go on loan.

This matters, Pay attention to it. It's one of the reasons why a well organised club is king.

Section 5: Developing Players

This section is where most people start their development of Youngsters and I end my development of Youngsters. It's also where most people end their development of First Teamers and I start my development of First Teamers. You see most people take a profoundly narrow view of development of players, from the age of 19 to 21 roughly, while my view of development of players ranges from 15 to 41. That's the youngest and oldest players at my club.

Developing players is not a race. It is a marathon. Developing players is not consigned to the young, it is more than possible in the mid-career players providing your club has the "assets". Player development might start with doing your damndest to get some youngster into first team contention, but it only ever ends when you have built the perfect player in every way possible. And this doesn't happen.

I think it is important to understand that player development is an integral part of gameplay with every player you have. Whether young or old it doesn't matter, the point is the same. But seeing how this is thread on the development of youngsters I will go with that vein.

The most beneficial thing you can do for a youngster, after you have done all what I described before, is take risks with him. If you followed my advice and scaled down adequately then quite simply nothing is more beneficia; to player in your club than a first team appearance. And this sole fact produces a great deal of strategy and usefulness.

For example I play a 4-4-1-1. I have two quality strikers of reasonable age and a third backup striker that is an OAP. I am quite comfortable in going 4-4-2 when the opposition goes 4-4-2 or has an inferior midfield. This means I have a slot for a fourth striker.

My fourth striker is obviously a chap from the Youth Team, but he isn't my best youngster. My best youngster is on loan, this fourth spot is for a lad I want to pump his attributes personally. It's for that "if/but/maybe" forward I want to both observe closely and also give the maximum opportunity to. My best young striker plays for Owen coyle, he will get to be under my management next season. This season i'm comfortable to take risks with a guy I like but that hasn't made the advances I want. If he doesn't develop with this opportunity at his back then he never will.

Section 6: Conclusion/Final Thoughts.

And that folks is how I develop youngsters. It's not short, it's not simple, it's not plug and play but by God is it football.

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Hope you guys can translate the drunkeness ;)

Just about!

Question, When scouting young players, who are rated highly by your excellent scouts but suffer from many "holes" in there attributes how do you respond?

Do you take the scouts word and buy them up? or do u pass?

I'm just wondering where you draw the line in the sand.

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Well well, very well SFraser, as usual.

Quick question

1. When you sending out youth players to another clubs, should we look their training facilities though they said they'll make our youth players into first team squad? The only one thing I know that youth players would be getting great experience in competitive matches and maybe bad training facilities won't be bothering their development since they got experience as first team squad. Correct me !

2. Is there any problems if we teaching them PPM in early age ?

p.s. sorry for my poor English because English is not main language in my country ;)

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Just about!

Question, When scouting young players, who are rated highly by your excellent scouts but suffer from many "holes" in there attributes how do you respond?

Do you take the scouts word and buy them up? or do u pass?

I'm just wondering where you draw the line in the sand.

Personally speaking I don't like any "holes". Some weaknesses are better than others but any true "holes" I don't bother with.

Having siad that it's not always so easy to tell. What you think is weak could be god of football in ten years.

Because it's up to you to sign the guy, your eye matters. Look at the first post with Michels, he signed for Tottenham..

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Quick question

1. Manager

2. No.

p.s. sorry for my poor English because English is not main language in my country ;)

No worse than mine after a few beers, and I like beer ;)

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Ya, that player interested me alot, i'd love to see his stats when he first generated to see the level of progression, I'm not sure if the system has been revamped but the vast majority of newgens im seeing on my game FM2011, are all over the place in terms of distribution of stats.

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Section 3: What Do You Need?

In the words of Roy Keane "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail".

Ha ha! Very, very funny.

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Wonderful posts are per usual SFraser. Now you're focusing on the aspect of the game that is my #1 priority.

Your opening worried me - talk about the purpose of youth development being the benjamins was depressing, but then you got to the real essence - the sheer pure joy of finding a kid at Upper Netherwallop Rovers and nurturing him for a decade until he scores the winning goal in the Champions League final.

One key point that you need to make is that you are playing an FM10 save. Mostly it makes no difference, except for tutoring, which is somewhat cocked up in FM11 even post 3 patches.

A real revelation for me concerns your insight into sending kids out on loan. Your key claim being the manager's attributes are key. This has never been suggested before. I assume it applies to loanee clubs as well as feeder clubs (Bolton is surely not your feeder club, even in 2015!) Can you offer any further evidence to support your insight, given that it is so original? Are the most important attributes man management/working with youths, or do you consider others?

Another point I hadn't considered is the U18 Cup. I'm managing FC United and the U18s can walk their league. In the cup this year they went out to Bolton U18s; last time it was Doncaster. I can see that playing Bolton's U18s would give much greater experience than playing against Curzon Ashton's U18s. I will try to put out my strongest U18 squad in future cup competitions so that they can play against more higher level youth squads.

Because of that I have a simple rule now. If your Determination is under 15 you don't go on loan.
Just to clarify lest someone miss the point: you keep them to tutor until their determination increases, THEN you send them out on loan.

I've just had a thought - bit leftfield this, and it may not be so relevant to a club like Man Utd (but maybe it is). In real life, SAF uses the loaning system to brilliant effect, developing Welbeck, Cleverley and Macheda that way. I can't do that with a low-level club. However, higher level clubs are snooping around my best youths who are in my first team squad, and I'm dishing out 'hands off' warnings all the time. I'm thinking I might offer to LOAN one or two to high-rep clubs, or even sell them with buy-back clauses. Does anyone think this would be feasible and enable the players to develop more (even if they don't get any first team action but are in youth squads 3 or 4 levels higher than me) before returning to me?

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Awesome read as always SFraser.

Though as phnompenh said, Tutoring seems to be a lot more limited in FM11, there's an annoying cooldown and players older than 21 can't be tutored which means you need to start quite early on them.

One problem that i always end up is the lack of tutors since i always start with lower teams and it's harder to sign great tutors for that kind of teams.

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I was wondering why you'd been so quiet in the last few weeks SFraser. Should of guessed you were up to something! Great thread and has got me motivated to start a new career game with Arsenal (Fm 2010) and focus on youth development. I have a question for you regarding what you do in the first season with older rotation status players who are not good enough for first team and have limited use as mentors (eg for Arsenal, your Rosicky's, Diaby's Denilson's etc). Would you see these guys as still having a role to play in the first season at least until you can bring in some quality youngsters to take their 'rotation/backup' squad spots? Or would you sell them on?

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The only thing I would point out is that there is an age limit on tutoring in FM11, but not in FM10. In FM11 players above 21 cannot be tutored.

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Was waiting for this one! Started compiling info already myself, but am 100% sure that this is at least ten times better than what I could manage =D. Going to read the article now!

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SFraser just brought Romelu Lukaku for my Arsenal team. He's 17 years old but i can't find anyone on the first team to tutoring him. Also what shall i do with him send him on loan to a afillates team or keep him in my first team squad

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''The rest of your scouts should be set to scout as many youth leagues as possible''

how do you set your scouts to scout youth leagues

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''The rest of your scouts should be set to scout as many youth leagues as possible''

how do you set your scouts to scout youth leagues

add new assignment/competitions/[chosen nation]/under 18s

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Nice posts. I do have two questions though:

1) Semantics generally. In your OP, you mentioned that you should sell a player for how much it has cost you over its tenure with you? Wouldn't you agree that it is usually unlikely?

2) More to the point, Youth player contracts. Obviously, 'general' training categories are more intensive. Would you consider offering them a 'Full time general' contract to speed up their development as soon as they turn 17?

3) (Guess there is a third) You didn't mention how you pick out the best players in your youth setup. Do you review each player? Do you go on Club report (at the start of the season)? Or do you look at their Cur A and Cur P (ingame)?

Thanks :)

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Nice posts. I do have two questions though:

1) Semantics generally. In your OP, you mentioned that you should sell a player for how much it has cost you over its tenure with you? Wouldn't you agree that it is usually unlikely?

2) More to the point, Youth player contracts. Obviously, 'general' training categories are more intensive. Would you consider offering them a 'Full time general' contract to speed up their development as soon as they turn 17?

3) (Guess there is a third) You didn't mention how you pick out the best players in your youth setup. Do you review each player? Do you go on Club report (at the start of the season)? Or do you look at their Cur A and Cur P (ingame)?

Thanks :)

Whilst the OP is watching his team get embarrassed by their noisy neighbours, I'll chip in.

2. Always get your promising youths onto long full-time contracts as soon as possible.

3. Assman's report - both the squad profile screen with the stars, and scrutinising the individual coach reports. Also close observation when they get a chance of first team action.

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SI offered you a job yet?

Once again, another inspiring thread........... two quesitons:

1. Should I play Man U to get cracking at this quickly or my beloved Spurs..... which are limited to 6 or so scouts to start with?

2. 4411? Thought you played a 4231? (MCx2, AML/R)?

ps,..... I have started a new game because of this...... which happens most time you post something ;)

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SFraser just brought Romelu Lukaku for my Arsenal team. He's 17 years old but i can't find anyone on the first team to tutoring him. Also what shall i do with him send him on loan to a afillates team or keep him in my first team squad

For some reason you can't always immediately mentor a new player.

Might have to leave it a few months or so.

It might have something to do with the player 'bedding in' and working out who he likes, admires and aims to be like...... just a thought.

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Nice posts. I do have two questions though:

1) Semantics generally. In your OP, you mentioned that you should sell a player for how much it has cost you over its tenure with you? Wouldn't you agree that it is usually unlikely?

2) More to the point, Youth player contracts. Obviously, 'general' training categories are more intensive. Would you consider offering them a 'Full time general' contract to speed up their development as soon as they turn 17?

3) (Guess there is a third) You didn't mention how you pick out the best players in your youth setup. Do you review each player? Do you go on Club report (at the start of the season)? Or do you look at their Cur A and Cur P (ingame)?

Thanks :)

Answer: 3

Play with your screen columns and then either add assistant managers view on CA and PA or setup a mentoring screen, which I did, whcih has lots of useful things like personality, detemination, influence etc etc..... anything you thinkwould be usefull.

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Few more questions SFraser if you don't mind. Firstly, does your youth team 'manager' have to be a youth coach (eg can it be a general coach who has all the required attributes but who refuses to sign a contract as a youth team coach?).Secondly, is there any problem with having your assistant manager take control of the youth team? And finally, is it possible for a coaches tactical style to change over time, and if so how? The reason i ask is i have looked up Dan Ashworth in my new start, and while he looks similar to yours (though obviously not quite as developed), he has 'stand off' for his pressing style. Is it possbile to change this by getting the youth team to play a tactic with higher pressing? Cheers

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One point SFraser, tutoring in FM11 is way different than in fm10. The biggest point is that age 24 is a cutoff value....no one under 24 can be a mentor and no one above 24 can be tutored.

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amazing post! Thanks for taking the time to share your FM knowledge with us lowly mortals :(

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One point SFraser, tutoring in FM11 is way different than in fm10. The biggest point is that age 24 is a cutoff value....no one under 24 can be a mentor and no one above 24 can be tutored.

A select few under 24 appear to be able to tutor, although I am not 100% about why this is and have not tested it myself.

I have a couple of questions for those more knowledgeable than me myself.

1. What are the stats you look for in youngsters? Obviously determination is a factor, but I always thought that Work Rate for example was hugely important as well. Are there other stats that are important guides to how well and how fast one will improve?

2. What is your main focus in training the youngsters? I know that physical is something that could be hugely boosted in FM10 before a player turned 24, but is this also your main focus or does it go more towards something like Tactical?

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Tommy - my take:

1. Determination and workrate are the key visible attributes. In terms of their hidden personality attributes they need to be professional (and maybe ambitious; I'm not so sure about that). These can be increased through tutoring but they need to be decent to start with, so look for the clues in the scout/coach reports.

2. It's still the case that physical atts increase fastest pre-24, so the approach for FM11 is no different. But it also depends on your vision; do you want to replicate English history and produce fast powerful brutes with no footballing brains? Do you want tippy-tappy technical weaklings or what? My personal preference is to mould a TEAM of youngsters who are tactically aware, so I do put more emphasis on tactics and mental development that has to be at the expense of a degree of technical and up to a point physical development. These are the kinds of decisions you as a manager has to make, which should be part of your overall long-term vision of how you like your football played, in my humble opinion.

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The reason behind the 2nd question was mainly because I'd like to get the most out of those kids. Thus now knowing that their physical attributes will grow faster will probably make me emphasize on that first (e.g. until they turn 18/19) and tactics second (reduce the physical and increase the tactical side). I do suppose that the mental thing is something you want to work on early on, as it is pointless to create a wolf who thinks he's a sheep.

Thanks for your answers, I'm off to make some modifications to my training schedule now!

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If you're in the BSS or BSN is the feeder team going to be of any use? I suppose my squad is thin enough that it doesn't matter.

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2. It's still the case that physical atts increase fastest pre-24, so the approach for FM11 is no different. But it also depends on your vision; do you want to replicate English history and produce fast powerful brutes with no footballing brains? Do you want tippy-tappy technical weaklings or what? My personal preference is to mould a TEAM of youngsters who are tactically aware, so I do put more emphasis on tactics and mental development that has to be at the expense of a degree of technical and up to a point physical development. These are the kinds of decisions you as a manager has to make, which should be part of your overall long-term vision of how you like your football played, in my humble opinion.

Thats the beauty of training your own youngsters.......... you can (within reason) make them what you want.

Need pace, then train it

Need a ball player, then train it............

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If you're in the BSS or BSN is the feeder team going to be of any use? I suppose my squad is thin enough that it doesn't matter.

Ideally you want your feeder club to be in a playable league. As such, that's going to be difficult when you're a BSS or BSN club, as you'll be offered clubs in the non-leagues.

Personally, I don't bother much with the youth team whilst at that level. It's a drain on finances paying the wages, the existing youngsters you'll have likely won't ever reach a decent standard and any youngsters you do sign, are probably better off being part of the first team squad and getting first team action to help their development. The only other real option is sending players out on loan to other BSS or BSN clubs.

I don't ignore the youth system completely at this level though. I do want to develop it and as such, try to get the board to improve facilities as soon as it's possible to afford the upgrades. Most importantly though, which ties in exactly with what SFraser discussed in his OP's, is improving scouting. Every time I see the option available, I ask the board to improve scouting range and number of scouts allowed. During my Telford save, by the time my club had reached League Two in two seasons, I was able to scout worldwide and had already upgraded youth training facilities and the academy. All the key backroom staff was in place, which meant that within a couple of seasons, I was beginning to properly develop my own youth system.

Obviously this mainly involved bringing players into the club myself, which is where the much improved scouting network helped immensely.

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. I have a question for you regarding what you do in the first season with older rotation status players who are not good enough for first team and have limited use as mentors (eg for Arsenal, your Rosicky's, Diaby's Denilson's etc). Would you see these guys as still having a role to play in the first season at least until you can bring in some quality youngsters to take their 'rotation/backup' squad spots? Or would you sell them on?

I would sell players that are definately doing nothing more than taking up space but I wouldn't go hacking at your First Team too much in your first few seasons at a club like Arsenal. The whole point of youth development is bringing youngsters into the fold of your "squad plans" so that can rely on cheap youth to plug gaps and save up your cash for those big signings. One of my best ever signings was a player I saved up ages for, for a particular new tactical role in my team I was looking to experiment with, and that has awesome mental stats. He joined the club and performed that role to perfection so a mega plus for the whole "improving the first team" side of transfers, but the guy also came with 20 Determination and is an epic mentor.

What you don't want to see is players in your reserves. If they are not good enough to be brought into your first team squad and used in rotation then they are not good enough for your club. I have quite a few players over 30 at my club but I still trust them to do a job.

1) Semantics generally. In your OP, you mentioned that you should sell a player for how much it has cost you over its tenure with you? Wouldn't you agree that it is usually unlikely?

Good development at a young age will vastly improve players. The question is are you canny with your purchases or do you take risks in the hunt for a gem? It's important to realise that if you can run a profit when transfer dealing in your first team then the youth team offers even greater potential for growth of ability and reputation. It's all about being active and organising a club so that your youngsters become a part of your "squad view".

3) (Guess there is a third) You didn't mention how you pick out the best players in your youth setup. Do you review each player? Do you go on Club report (at the start of the season)? Or do you look at their Cur A and Cur P (ingame)?

All of that and more. Most of the players in my youth team I hand picked from scout reports and other clubs so I already know what they look like and I already know how I hope they will turn out. Then it is a matter of keeping an eye on them, seeing if they are growing, getting the right mentors, and hopefully they put in enough performances and enough good signs that you start to get excited about them and pay them even more attention.

I could tell you the Jumping stats for my Youth Team Centrebacks right off the bat, I already know these things. Same for the flair for my strikers and the creativity and work rate for my midfielders. I could tell you the weaknesses of the players I have sent on loan without having to load up the game.

Few more questions SFraser if you don't mind. Firstly, does your youth team 'manager' have to be a youth coach (eg can it be a general coach who has all the required attributes but who refuses to sign a contract as a youth team coach?).Secondly, is there any problem with having your assistant manager take control of the youth team?

You are unlikely to get a good "manager" style backroom staff member that will take up a youth team role. If you don't plan him to work with your senior players then give him the cheap contract if you can, but keep in mind you don't want these people being poached because you are tight fisted. What I would say is that if you intend a staff member to take youth team matches, involve him in youth team training. It might not do anything but the greater exposure might help foster positive relationships.

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Ideally you want your feeder club to be in a playable league. As such, that's going to be difficult when you're a BSS or BSN club, as you'll be offered clubs in the non-leagues.

Personally, I don't bother much with the youth team whilst at that level. It's a drain on finances paying the wages, the existing youngsters you'll have likely won't ever reach a decent standard and any youngsters you do sign, are probably better off being part of the first team squad and getting first team action to help their development. The only other real option is sending players out on loan to other BSS or BSN clubs.

I don't ignore the youth system completely at this level though. I do want to develop it and as such, try to get the board to improve facilities as soon as it's possible to afford the upgrades. Most importantly though, which ties in exactly with what SFraser discussed in his OP's, is improving scouting. Every time I see the option available, I ask the board to improve scouting range and number of scouts allowed. During my Telford save, by the time my club had reached League Two in two seasons, I was able to scout worldwide and had already upgraded youth training facilities and the academy. All the key backroom staff was in place, which meant that within a couple of seasons, I was beginning to properly develop my own youth system.

Obviously this mainly involved bringing players into the club myself, which is where the much improved scouting network helped immensely.

Yeah that's what I though with regards to playable leagues. Interesting thing about the scouting. I always try and up my coaches first at that level rather than the scouts but it might be worth making sure I expand the scouting network first.

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Yeah that's what I though with regards to playable leagues. Interesting thing about the scouting. I always try and up my coaches first at that level rather than the scouts but it might be worth making sure I expand the scouting network first.

Your coaching team and scouting team are both vital. The latter especially so, because of the options they'll give you for signing players and getting good reports on any potential targets. It's still possible to get staff with good attributes at lower levels, if you hunt around.

Before I even look at my squad or any players when starting a new game or moving to a new club, I build my backroom team.

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Your coaching team and scouting team are both vital. The latter especially so, because of the options they'll give you for signing players and getting good reports on any potential targets. It's still possible to get staff with good attributes at lower levels, if you hunt around.

Before I even look at my squad or any players when starting a new game or moving to a new club, I build my backroom team.

Yeah that's what I usually do. At the lower levels I find it very helpful (because of scouting restrictions) to have an Ass Man with good JPA and JPP and that is usually my first call especially when you might be in a rush to sign freebies and need a quick opinion.

I'm thinking of starting a game with my club Charlton so one thing I wanted to throw out there is where do you draw the Determination line? Obviously the examples cover Manchester United at the highest level of the game. Is it incrimental depending on where you are (so looking for those of around 13/14 determination as my top players) or should I still hold out for the higher determinations before sending people out on loan?

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Kinda of a stupid question, but what would you do if you're managing a club in a league like Spain where there's basically two reserve teams and you cant rotate players between all the 3 type of matches you say as fluidly as in England?

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1. Should I play Man U to get cracking at this quickly or my beloved Spurs..... which are limited to 6 or so scouts to start with?

Whichever team you are most likely to get involved with. It's important you get excited about what you are doing instead of feeling like it is dull chore. Excitement is key. I think there is a lot can be said about how I constantly manage the same team and also constantly write about what is going on in my saves. If you don't get interested you wont get interested.

1. What are the stats you look for in youngsters? Obviously determination is a factor, but I always thought that Work Rate for example was hugely important as well. Are there other stats that are important guides to how well and how fast one will improve?

Personally it's more important that you can look at a player and see how you think he is likely to develop. Low Determination might hold a player back in his attitude, but this might be made up by the fact he has the attributes to score 30 goals in the under-18's at the age of only 15. Or maybe the opposite is true and the player looks like he needs a lot of work to develop but is packing 18 Determination.

FM is a funny game in that there are "rules" but also "no rules". There are certain things every manager wants, certain things that work in each position, but a manager has to be able to recognise talent in players rather than hunt for the ideal, because the ideal might not exist.

It's about being able to look at a player and see what he actually is, and then asking yourself what you can turn him into and if you can use that in your side. Sometimes players will become more than you expected, sometimes they will be less but that's football.

That's why it is so important to organise your club into a managable whole, so that you can keep yourself aware of players and get to know them as players.

Here are two of the strikers I have out on loan:

2czotxu.jpg

Dave Batchelor. Nothing special and some big flaws in this dude, but I sent him to League 1 at Stockport and his alright attributes plus immense Determination means he is tearing up that league.

2qa74zq.jpg

Fred Deeney. I took a big but calculated risk with this guy because I needed space and mentors to develop another player and I trust Owen Coyle. He is on loan at Burnley in the Championship with 12 Determination and Four Decisions. Frightening stats. But take into account he always picks the wrong choice, then combine it to his immense Flair, amazing pace, agility and fitness, excellent Anticipation and Composure and very good technical stats.

His Pace, Power, Fitness, Sharpness and Composure plus his Flamboyancy and horrible decision making makes him a bit lethal upfront for Burnley. I'm guessing he has a horrible habit of trying the holywood shot against knackered defenders after he has terrorised them with direct running for 85 minutes. A bit like sticking SWP or Aaron Lennon in the Championship.

These guys probably wont ever make it far at my club, but if they keep this up I'm pretty sure I can find some interested buyers to take for a ride at the end of the season.

This next guy is the reason why I sent Fred Deeney on loan:

2lt0wn7.jpg

He is a much more rounded pacey forward than Deeney already, with much more general intelligence and a great team player. This player is someone that could potentially do well at my club because he has the attributes to be a dangerous striker, but even more importantly he has the attributes to play a very clever game of football in a team.

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Whilst the OP is watching his team get embarrassed by their noisy neighbours, I'll chip in.

Not the most fun Saturday ever. Still Sunday was much better though. The world of football turns once more. ;)

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Hey SFraser, these guides that you do are invaluable! Besides this one, I see the one about backroom staff as well. Have I missed any others? I'd like to definitley read all that you have.

Cheers,

cerud

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Sfraser, do you have any insight into players refusing to go on loan?

i've had a couple of instances where my young players have refused to go on loan, it makes organising development very frustrating!

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Hey SFraser, these guides that you do are invaluable! Besides this one, I see the one about backroom staff as well. Have I missed any others? I'd like to definitley read all that you have.

Cheers,

cerud

There is the "Meet the Striker" thread, a definite must read I'd say.

Thanks for your reply SFraser. Managing Feyenoord means there is a lot of potential around, but the attributes I value are not really present in the youngsters. However, I've just signed two 35+ guys to help me addressing that issue.

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Sfraser, do you have any insight into players refusing to go on loan?

i've had a couple of instances where my young players have refused to go on loan, it makes organising development very frustrating!

It means his reputation has grown faster than his ability, and it's a fairly big issue I have forgotten to discuss in my guide. There is plenty of post space though so I will squeeze it in somewhere.

It's quite possible to have a player develop too quickly, by that I mean exposing him to too much first team football so his Reputation accelerates away and leaves you in a position where he wont go on loan or refuses to be mentored by "lesser" players. If someone with Determination 13 becomes "the best player at your club" Reputation wise because he bangs in a lot of goals then he is stuck at Determination 13 because there is no one of a higher Reputation to mentor him with.

I was bound to forget a few important things with so many other points floating around my head, so thanks for bringing it up. Be assured that Reputation is another important thing to keep your eye on, and I will at some point go back and add it to my guide.

Thanks for your reply SFraser. Managing Feyenoord means there is a lot of potential around, but the attributes I value are not really present in the youngsters. However, I've just signed two 35+ guys to help me addressing that issue.

Take heed about what I said about Reputation. If these 35 year olds don't have a high enough reputation your plan wont work.

It's a pretty big omission from my guide, sorry about that.

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Kinda of a stupid question, but what would you do if you're managing a club in a league like Spain where there's basically two reserve teams and you cant rotate players between all the 3 type of matches you say as fluidly as in England?

Different approach completely.

I'm currently managing Granada CF in the Liga Adelante. I basically wiped out my "B" team, because as they're not in a playable league on FM11 and never will be, they're neither use nor ornament for developing players effectively. I can still utilise players from the youth team, who don't have to be registered in the 25 man squad for the first team, but only EU nationals. Sucks when I've found several excellent young Brazilians, but as the first team squad is limited to only two foreign players who must be registered regardless of age, I can't use them. The only option is to find a feeder club or loan them out elsewhere, for them to gain exposure to first team football.

The only real ways to develop youngsters well in Spain, is to expose them regularly to your first team, loan them out, or send them to your "B" team if they're in a playable league. The problem with the latter two, are you have no control over their training. This makes shaping players all the more difficult.

One thing you could do though, if your "B" team is in a playable league, is create a second manager and manage the "B" team as well. Some might see this as cheating, but it's perhaps the only way to get back some of the control that you would realistically have over youth and "B" team player development and training schedules.

If like me at Granada CF, you don't have that luxury, then although this guide by SFraser is excellent, many aspects of the methodology will be difficult to apply. This means that you'll miss out on most of the opportunities to shape players with specific schedules.

I'm expecting to steer my side to promotion in this first season, but upon reaching Liga Adelante, I'm considering an approach which will see my first team squad feature at least ten young players, who I can rotate for first team action, whilst maintaining total control over their training.

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Different approach completely.

I'm currently managing Granada CF in the Liga Adelante. I basically wiped out my "B" team, because as they're not in a playable league on FM11 and never will be, they're neither use nor ornament for developing players effectively. I can still utilise players from the youth team, who don't have to be registered in the 25 man squad for the first team, but only EU nationals. Sucks when I've found several excellent young Brazilians, but as the first team squad is limited to only two foreign players who must be registered regardless of age, I can't use them. The only option is to find a feeder club or loan them out elsewhere, for them to gain exposure to first team football.

The only real ways to develop youngsters well in Spain, is to expose them regularly to your first team, loan them out, or send them to your "B" team if they're in a playable league. The problem with the latter two, are you have no control over their training. This makes shaping players all the more difficult.

One thing you could do though, if your "B" team is in a playable league, is create a second manager and manage the "B" team as well. Some might see this as cheating, but it's perhaps the only way to get back some of the control that you would realistically have over youth and "B" team player development and training schedules.

If like me at Granada CF, you don't have that luxury, then although this guide by SFraser is excellent, many aspects of the methodology will be difficult to apply. This means that you'll miss out on most of the opportunities to shape players with specific schedules.

I'm expecting to steer my side to promotion in this first season, but upon reaching Liga Adelante, I'm considering an approach which will see my first team squad feature at least ten young players, who I can rotate for first team action, whilst maintaining total control over their training.

Seems rather hard to implement SFraser's philosophy in spain, such a shame reserve teams in spain are so independent of the first team.

Well thanks anyway!

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This guy im having issues loaning and tutoring has a national reputation and only made 1 first time appearance (and that was for his previous club)(Boca), he is however touted as the next Burdisso so i wonder if that has a bearing on the situation, Luckily his determination is 18, i do still want to tutor him further but i think he'll probly only need 1 round of tutor from my best CB.

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Tommy Styles, thanks, haven't seen that one yet. So, there's 3 main SFraser guides, Meet the Striker, the backroom and staff one, and this one? Any others?

cerud

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