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SFraser

A Guide to Developing Youngsters

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You can also click on SFraser's name on the far left side of this forum, and then choose the option "Find all started threads" in the upper left hand column, which will take you to a page where all topics created by SFraser are listed.

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Great read SFraser as always, had a read through the thread and everyone's comments and I see a few people are saying it is a lot harder and simply not possible to put to use your methods in Spain, personally i'm a little bit worried with this as I have just started a new game with Malaga and while I do a lot of what you say before reading this, I have picked up a few things such as loaning players out to good managers rather than clubs and also the way in which you loan out your players and look for coaches.

Anyway would you say it is possible to put to use your way of doing things over in Spain or not at all?

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Really nice read.

For the most part, I have the scouting part down. I have enough a scout in every region looking for potential talent 21 and younger as well as a couple scouting the world.

I think I am definitely gonna have to spend the next offseason or two working on turning my team into the ideal talent producing organisation.

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Great thread again SFraser. Was particularly interested in the scouting network you have set up. I am usually able to find gems although I do this by going through a lot of clubs' u18s, u20s etc myself which is quite labourious whislt setting my scouts to a few regions. However, as I was considering setting up a system similar to yours, I was just wondering what level of JPA and JPP you consider to be 'good' scouts and so on. Are scouts with 14,14 able to distinguish great talent if just sent to a specific region?

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Thanks for this guide SFraser.

My only problem is that none of my players are "old enough" to either tutor or be tutored - I'm not understand what the problem is. When I go to private chat via my youth players, tutoring is greyed out. I hover over it - "player is not old enough". I then go to my first team, choose my 24yo GK, and he is also "not old enough".

What's the minimum age someone has to be to tutor?

This is both bizarre and annoying. My captain is a 22yo (this is the RL captain) who has great mental stats (for Championship level) and is very mature. IRL he does in-fact mentor a lot of the youth players. How is he too young? Surely any player who has made it professionally should be allowed to tutor a youth player?

Unrealistic and silly add by SI tbh. I much preferred tutoring in FM10.

Edit: Would you recommend signing a few "veterans" solely for mentoring the youth players? Won't be particularly easy being a Championship side, wages will be a slight problem, but could be the only alternative, as I have a fairly young squad as it is.

Also, what attributes would you advise for the mentor? Just high mental stats in the areas I want the youngster to improve? Is determination THE most important mental stat?

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Seftinho - find the thread "Tutoring" in this forum - it's all explained here.

[summary - the rules in FM11 really are rubbish!]

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Does the OP accept invitations to play in both reserve and u19 leagues?

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Seftinho - find the thread "Tutoring" in this forum - it's all explained here.

[summary - the rules in FM11 really are rubbish!]

Thanks mate, will give it a look now.

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Just out of curiousity, SFraser, how many youths do you look to bring in each year? I've read that you have 22 youth team players, once these players are...say 19, would you buy more 15 year olds? or is it a constant buying process?

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Great article but which sort of personalities go well together?

(Jamie Carragher just fell out with me for asking him too much as well :p )

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Great article but which sort of personalities go well together?

(Jamie Carragher just fell out with me for asking him too much as well :p )

He might of been happy, sure you could understand what he was saying :D

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Does the OP accept invitations to play in both reserve and u19 leagues?

I think you pretty much have to, otherwise your youth simply don't get enough game time.

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First off, if someone would be kind enough-just how do I add the post I am replying to, to mine?

In the meantime: kajito99

An alternative to assigning scouts to various nation's youth leagues is to assign them to a nation adding the conditions (under 'age') "who is at most" "18" for several reasons-some of which are-they are at their cheapest (I have picked up 4 of the best players in my game for 1.1m(16yo Br), 95k(14yo Br), 2.6m and 110k for 2 spanish 16yo), if you start the assignment a day before the regens appear in that nation you have every chance of getting them before anyone else even gets a sniff (there is a list of regen dates but it is easy to find out simply go to a youth team of a nation and check the start date of the YOUTH contracts-check more than one to be sure), they will become Home Grown if you can sign them before their 18th birthday, th....OK there's loads, and as this isn't a scouting thread I will stop there. But if you have something specific you would like to know ask away.

PS regarding the judging of ability I have found the backroom advice panel on the scouts personal page a good guide, just place the cur'sir on the Recruitment bar for a % readout. Obviously get the best scouts you can afford BUT budget for at least 1 top scout (2 = better) with 20 JPA who can provide you with that 3rd line of often telling info in the weakness' section of the report. Use this guy to check any prospects found by the grunts.

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First off, if someone would be kind enough-just how do I add the post I am replying to, to mine?

In the meantime: kajito99

An alternative to assigning scouts to various nation's youth leagues is to assign them to a nation adding the conditions (under 'age') "who is at most" "18" for several reasons-some of which are-they are at their cheapest (I have picked up 4 of the best players in my game for 1.1m(16yo Br), 95k(14yo Br), 2.6m and 110k for 2 spanish 16yo), if you start the assignment a day before the regens appear in that nation you have every chance of getting them before anyone else even gets a sniff (there is a list of regen dates but it is easy to find out simply go to a youth team of a nation and check the start date of the YOUTH contracts-check more than one to be sure), they will become Home Grown if you can sign them before their 18th birthday, th....OK there's loads, and as this isn't a scouting thread I will stop there. But if you have something specific you would like to know ask away.

PS regarding the judging of ability I have found the backroom advice panel on the scouts personal page a good guide, just place the cur'sir on the Recruitment bar for a % readout. Obviously get the best scouts you can afford BUT budget for at least 1 top scout (2 = better) with 20 JPA who can provide you with that 3rd line of often telling info in the weakness' section of the report. Use this guy to check any prospects found by the grunts.

Thanks. I actually do that already, was just wondering whether 14/14 scouts were good enough for searching regions. Obviously they won't be as good as judging as 20/20 scouts but can they still alert you to the real gems? Anyway, it doesn't matter that much as I've still been able to find some great regens using scouts and the regen date list. How important would you say Determination is for a scout?

p.s. You can add the post you're replying to by clicking the 'reply with quote' button at the bottom right hand corner of the post.

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Thanks. I actually do that already, was just wondering whether 14/14 scouts were good enough for searching regions. Obviously they won't be as good as judging as 20/20 scouts but can they still alert you to the real gems? Anyway, it doesn't matter that much as I've still been able to find some great regens using scouts and the regen date list. How important would you say Determination is for a scout?

p.s. You can add the post you're replying to by clicking the 'reply with quote' button at the bottom right hand corner of the post.

And I have, thanks. (how blind am I)

As for 14/14 scouts I would say yes, but the time it takes to scout regions the gems are likely to have been discovered in all but the first country he visits. I set young/new scouts I feel have potential to search regions to gain continuous experience to help improve stats (don't know yet if this works). I've found that average scouts will find most of what is available in their country of birth and those where they already have a good degree of knowledge, provided they don't have crap Determination. I don't know technically what determination does for scouts but my better scouts have more of it and the more of it they have the more comprehensive the reports. Personally I would put it a close second to judging PA. One thing though, only my best scout found 3 of the 4 best players I mentioned, and I sent many (including two 20/20) scouts to Brazil & Spain as an experiment. Since then I always send my best scout(s) out along side a grunt to nations I consider important and rescout those same nations again twice more over the year (for late developers + the odd missed gem).

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A quick update post to show some results I have had recently.

Feeder Club Loveliness

In my first few posts I explained how my choice of Feeder Club for my youngsters depended on the clubs manager more than anything else, barring perhaps the level of football the club played at. And for this reason I picked the best manager I could find in the Championship and asked the board if I could have his club as my Feeder Club. The manager in question was the very excellent Owen Coyle.

dgts94.jpg

Some two months game time after I wrote this thread I have entered the start of December, and after an early period of having to show what they can do before nailing First Team spots, my two players out on loan at Burnley have some fairly interesting results to show. Results that are unsurprising but very, very welcome.

Andre Allsop

I expected Andre Allsop to do well at Burnley under Coyle as he is a player of excellent quality for the Championship and has the mental attributes you would expect someone like Coyle to look for in spades. The results of his first three full months at Burnley are about as good as I could have hoped for. He did have to play his way into the team at the start, as you would expect from a manager like Coyle, but since doing this he has performed very, very well.

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Ten starts, eight goals, one assist, one man of the match and an average rating of 7.48 in the league. This player regularly pops up in my scout reports having played really well and banged in a goal or two. But what is even more remarkable is that in only 3 full months of the season Allsop already lists Coyle as favoured personnel and Burnley as a favoured club, and he is enjoying playing for the club. He has developed an awesome relationship with his manager and his team and he is in-form. There are still six full months of the season left to play.

You will notice that there is a bit of an "old boys club" forming in his favoured personnel list. I poached him from my chum Steve Bruce, who is a very solid and sound manager in the Premier League, mentored him up a bit with Jonjo Shelvey and got himself and myself listed as favoured personnel, then loaned him out to my feeder club and Coyle became favoured personnel. This player is doing the "old boys club" rounds but is also completely buying into my clubs little footballing world. It's great stuff to see.

Fred Deeney

I took a huge risk with this lad sending him on loan with 12 Determination but I needed to free up space at my club for another young striker I thought had greater potential and needed my attention, so I shipped him off to Burnley for a season not expecting much.

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Shows how much I know huh. Twelve starts, ten goals, four assists, five man of the match and an average league rating of 7.71, this lad is firmly back on my radar. The trend of excellent club and Manager relationships alongside brilliant performances continues with Burnley and Owen Coyle again listed as favoured club and favoured personnel. There isn't much to say about this lad other than he completely surprised me.

All in all these two players are forming a formidable partnership upfront for Burnley, under the excellent watch of Owen Coyle. The question you have to ask is "are these players of such a high quality they would do this anywhere" or "is this the best Feeder Club I have ever picked"? The answer would appear to show up in these players Personal Panels, with the club and the manager rated very highly by two on fire players.

I don't know about you but I would consider my management of this small area of the game to be a resounding success.

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What do you do with the rubbish youth that come through every year from the youth academy. Do you wait until they become pro, then sell them or do you release them. By this I mean those that are rubbish and have very little potential, not those with 1.5 to 2.5 stars which if developed give a nice healthy profit when sold.

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In my first few posts I explained how my choice of Feeder Club for my youngsters depended on the clubs manager more than anything else, barring perhaps the level of football the club played at. And for this reason I picked the best manager I could find in the Championship and asked the board if I could have his club as my Feeder Club. The manager in question was the very excellent Owen Coyle.

Can you exactly do that? i mean, telling your board what club exactly you want instead of choosing one of the options they present to you?

Also, do you "force" your youth players into getting mentored by a senior player, even if the youth doesnt agrees at first?

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What do you do with the rubbish youth that come through every year from the youth academy. Do you wait until they become pro, then sell them or do you release them. By this I mean those that are rubbish and have very little potential, not those with 1.5 to 2.5 stars which if developed give a nice healthy profit when sold.

What I do with them is instantly release them. The lowest I keep is a decent looking two and a half star and then I do what all big clubs do, I go and poach the best youngsters off of other teams.

Teams not in my position can wait untill the player comes looking for a professional contract on his 17th birthday and then release him, but I always feel bad about doing that to players. It has zero ingame relevance but I don't like giving a youngster the 17th birthday present of the boot. I'm a softie. But it's completely viable and you can do this if you don't want to pay the costs of releasing them early.

Keep in mind though that making sure good youngsters have enough space to develop is essential. It's worth releasing your 5th under-18 Left Winger early if you happen to have some awesome hot-shot. I personally would release the 5th, 4th, and 3rd and leave only one back up left winger in such a context. It will place demands on the player but I find that players improve the most when they play regularly and when they negotiate testing circumstances. Mentoring in particular sees to come on leaps and bounds when a player rises to a challenge.

Can you exactly do that? i mean, telling your board what club exactly you want instead of choosing one of the options they present to you?

Yes you can once you have been at the club for a while. Once you reach that position of being able to choose your own feeder teams I highly recommend you go into the Staff Search part of the transfer list and head hunt your ideal managers. You can't shortlist staff but you can keep notes on them. It's very worthwhile doing this, and it gives you something a little bit different to do in between matches as well.

Also, do you "force" your youth players into getting mentored by a senior player, even if the youth doesnt agrees at first?

If the player says no the first time I wont force him a second time, but I will keep a mental note (or a real note if that's easier for you) of it and this lad is likely to be on the receiving end of no contract if I don't see good improvements.

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Can you exactly do that? i mean, telling your board what club exactly you want instead of choosing one of the options they present to you?

Also, do you "force" your youth players into getting mentored by a senior player, even if the youth doesnt agrees at first?

i haven't got fm11 on at the moment but i'm not sure if you can in this version.once you've been at the club for a year or 2 and ask the club for a feeder club you get the chance t pick from 4/5 but when i went looking for owen coyle's club there was no tab to click on to choose them as your preffered feeder club.

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i haven't got fm11 on at the moment but i'm not sure if you can in this version.once you've been at the club for a year or 2 and ask the club for a feeder club you get the chance t pick from 4/5 but when i went looking for owen coyle's club there was no tab to click on to choose them as your preffered feeder club.

Nope the feature is currently bugged it seems, the board gives u the option to choose, then a couple of weeks later it just gives u a list like it would do otherwise, very frustrating, you have to rely more on luck of the draw than perfect planning.

What i do is i ask for a new feeder club every 6 months and always pick the same option in the hope of something popping up, then when i get a championship club with a good manager i then look for a foreign club, hopefully a top division one in spain, geremany, italy even france and send players there to develop.

I'm sure you all remember royal antwerp, that was my first knowledge of feeder clubs.

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Originally Posted by SFraser viewpost-right.png In my first few posts I explained how my choice of Feeder Club for my youngsters depended on the clubs manager more than anything else, barring perhaps the level of football the club played at.

SFraser, do you apply this same criterion to loaning your youths out. I mean, when choosing a club to loan him to, is your decision based on the ability of the manager? If so, is Working with Youths, Man-Management or any other attribute the key one?

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First of all, excellent topic, it should be Sticky... ;)

Then... I have a couple of questions.

1) When is it ok to give up on average youngsters? I mean, not those with decent potential who could turn into ok backups or who could be sold for a few millions, but those who are more or less doomed from their very first day in the youth team.

Some of them might have a couple of decent attributes in a sea of awfulness, but somehow I feel it's too early ditching them around age 18 (when their original youth contract is up).

Is there a category of 1/1.5* PA players worth an extra year or two, or is it wasted time?

2) Is Determination really the decisive factor to determine how well a younger player will develop? Or is it just one of the keys to successful loan spells?

3) Is there a way to significantly improve a player's mental traits, or is the amount of training focus too big not to cause the player to stagnate or to regress in other areas?

Like, is a physically/technically ok-ish youngster but with awful mental traits (say, half of the physical/technical values) a lost cause?

4) In terms of developing a promising/semi-promising player, is this the correct ranking?

Semi-regular football at own club Senior squad --> Regular football on loan (one tier below) --> Reserve squad at own club --> Rotation/backup on loan --> U18 squad at own club

or?

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When you give up is purely subjective, of course.

Determination is important in so many ways. One key aspect is that it strongly affects how much effort the player will put into training as well as in matches; thus, a player with low determination is far more likely to progress slowly and stagnate well short of his PA.

Therefore, if you don't reject a low determination youth from the outset, you really must get him tutored to raise it to a decent level. For me, if by the age of 18 a youth still has poor determination and hasn't progressed to a decent degree, he's got to go.

Regarding (4) - for me, I'd go along with your priorities until the end; I'd rather keep a lad in my U18s playing regularly than sat on his ar5e at another club. Remember that reserve/U18 at your own club also means he can be tutored which might be more beneficial than going out on loan. If I can get a kid tutored, I might spend half a season doing that and then half a season out on loan (guaranteed first team).

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SFraser, do you apply this same criterion to loaning your youths out. I mean, when choosing a club to loan him to, is your decision based on the ability of the manager? If so, is Working with Youths, Man-Management or any other attribute the key one?

The main attributes I look for are Man Management, Working With Youngsters, Tactical Knowledge. Then ideally you also want Judging Player Potential and Motivating. You are looking first and foremost for a good manager to keep players happy, get them playing well on the pitch, and is good with youngsters. However like every other attribute profile in the game there is nothing that doesn't have it's uses, and you are unlikely to find some theoretical perfect manager. But certain managers stand out in the game.

Owen Coyle did excellent at Burnley, he is doing well at Bolton, and he is getting Daniel Sturridge firing on all cylinders. It's a no brainer to look up these managers in game, and Coyle is still manager of Burnley in the Championship in my save, so I get them as a feeder club.

Then... I have a couple of questions.

As Phnompenhandy says, these are decisions you have to make based on your own circumstances. Sticking to hard and fast rules when making these kinds of decisions might make it easier for you, but it is likely to weaken your overall club as you don't adapt to what is actually going on. The important thing is to understand the framework you are working within, understand the "environment" so to speak of a successful youth development process, and then make your decisions based on what is happening at your club.

You could say that a two star youngster gets shipped out quickly because he will never achieve sufficient growth for your team, but what if that two star youngsters is only one of three Leftbacks at your club? What if his core positional attributes are rock solid? What if he happens to have the attributes to be able to make a high Reputation for himself far above his actual quality level?

That's why I emphasise in my original posts that the most important thing to do is to mesh your Youth Team with your First Team and build a coherent club. You will have some weak links, some outstanding prospects, some areas you think might be a bit weak and some other areas you have a few too many players, but in looking at your entire club this way you can then make decisions that benefit your whole club and not just individual players. You can decide to strengthen the rightback slot not by selling your current first choice and splashing out on a new megabuck signing, but by selling Young Joe Average and investing your cash in the future First Choice rightback hot prospect youngster.

Generally speaking when your First Team Squad is strong in some area, focus on youngsters for that area and through a process of elimination slowly build up a good selection of potential future players. When your First Team is weak in an area don't risk relying purely on youngsters but look to go out and make that one key signing.

Once you get in to the habit of viewing your Youth Team and First Team as a whole large squad with maybe four or five players per position then everything will slot into place. You will know which parts are weak and need strengthened, which are strong and need pared down a bit, where the potential stars are and where the potential problems are. Then you can start selling or sacking your third or fourth choice players in much the same way you would handle your first and second choice. Remember that your youth team is a team, a team for the future. Don't neglect it just because you don't see it every day.

Altering that mindset is the single biggest thing you can do to start developing youngsters efficiently.

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Awesome thread SFraser, taught me a heck of a lot. :thup:

You've spoken before and I've seen from your Screenshots that players tend to have you on their Favoured Personnel extremely easy, what do you think makes this so? Simply praising them and giving them games and they take to you?

The main thing I wanted to ask is how you pinch youth from other clubs so well. Do you have a particular method? I try to get 2/3 in each position and I scout as much as I can and use the Fliters and look through lots of clubs every few months but I always end up with too many/not enough in key areas. How do you go about it?

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You've spoken before and I've seen from your Screenshots that players tend to have you on their Favoured Personnel extremely easy, what do you think makes this so? Simply praising them and giving them games and they take to you?

In my Roma club all of the players in the first team squad and many of the youths have me in their favoured personnel. I achieved this by praising all of the incoming poached youngster/key player in a smaller club transfers twice on the same day which due to the reputation of my club and my reputation usually gets them to respect me instantly. Otherwise I get the same result through just praise or criticism of performances. Through trial and error I have now learnt which levels suit different personalities and rarely make mistakes.

I imagine SFraser does much of the same (except perhaps the double praise just before signing).

As for the thread, brilliant read as usual, but I'm still wondering about a few things. You said, for example, that you look to develop players primarily to make money. So what do you do with a player with massive flaws in his game who you send to a lower league club where they'll perform well, but where they inevitably lose their value? Do you look to sell them afterwards by offering them out? Or do you send them on loan to a higher reputation club simply to pick up their value?

I'll try to get some examples of this from my own save.

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You've spoken before and I've seen from your Screenshots that players tend to have you on their Favoured Personnel extremely easy, what do you think makes this so? Simply praising them and giving them games and they take to you?

I'm a very likeable chap, what with all my "expect a performance" and "angry" teamtalks. In all seriousness though I take the time to pay attention to my youngsters and treat them like you would expect young players to be treated at a football club. Introduced slowly in low pressure matches, show a bit of faith in them, observe when they play really well in the youth team then give then a bench spot or a start in the Carling Cup and so on.

This is incredibly hard to do with a 30 man first team, a 30 man reserve squad and a 30 man youth team. That's why I try to keep my entire club down to around 50 players or so. You will never get totally aware of your youngsters as you do your first team stars, but atleast this way you have some comprehension of what is going on at your club.

The main thing I wanted to ask is how you pinch youth from other clubs so well. Do you have a particular method? I try to get 2/3 in each position and I scout as much as I can and use the Fliters and look through lots of clubs every few months but I always end up with too many/not enough in key areas. How do you go about it?

Much the same. The thing about the youth team is that you don't have to have it chock full of awesome high potential youngsters. If you are strong at rightback anyway in your First Team you wont be needing the next Gary Neville for a while. I like to keep a strong youth team as I believe that competing well in the youth competitions helps players develop but I wont panic if I don't have a three star rightback in my under-18's unless I foresee a First Team rightback problem in the future.

Ultimately I keep an eye on scout reports and I will pore through the transfer lists a couple of times a season, and I will sign players that look good. Sometimes that means I then have to go and release someone I poached last year to make sufficient room for the new guy to thrive, but these are the decisions you make. You can't make every decision a perfect one.

And if you keep an awesome scout free from any assignments and just send him to scout players you tell him too, he will pop up in backroom staff feedback reminding you about international competitions or countries you have missed out scouting for a while etc. etc. I will still keep him free, but I will send someone else to get on the case.

The key is keeping yourself aware of the footballing world. Scouts are, obviously, a huge help here.

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Awesome thread SFraser, taught me a heck of a lot. :thup:

You've spoken before and I've seen from your Screenshots that players tend to have you on their Favoured Personnel extremely easy, what do you think makes this so? Simply praising them and giving them games and they take to you?

The main thing I wanted to ask is how you pinch youth from other clubs so well. Do you have a particular method? I try to get 2/3 in each position and I scout as much as I can and use the Fliters and look through lots of clubs every few months but I always end up with too many/not enough in key areas. How do you go about it?

On this point i find it far too easy go get players in my favoured personnel in fact it's one of the first things i tend to do.

I find the key to this being to communicate with them, whenever they play out of the ordinary good or bad i will discuss this performance with them, as SFraser has mentioned many times it's very important to know there reactions if u tell a volatile player they sucked in the last game they may throw a fit and refuse to speak to u, however with good tutoring and moulding u can get them to improve on this which makes interactions with your players much less of a minefield.

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SFraser, This is a great thread. I have been implementing many of your ideas in my current save, Southampton. However, one thing I had to do was completely turnover the players was there was a lack of determination in the squad. Many of the tutors on the existing squad right now are players acquired in the free market, as that determination characteristic was not evident in the existing squad when I started. As a result, it is a very bloated roster. I am in the PL this year, the third year of the save. I have also purchased a number of prospects off of the youth teams and reserves, so the pipeline for the talent is in the works in the youth squad (and to a lesser extent on the first team). Two concerns I have as I go into the third season:

(1) How do you deal with the complaints of lack of playing time from your players, which I think will be forthcoming soon enough?

(2) How do you manage your tutors? I know you should have tutors on the players with the best prospects and they should have good chemistry, but what other factors do you look at when making an assignment for tutoring and you have a choice of players of who should be tutored? I have a number of players that are waiting to be tutored, but there is not enough players to tutor them right now and I am concerned about adding even more experienced, high determination players to my first team squad. I have 32 players on my first team squad and 11 tutoring sessions going on currently.

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A nice read, but I have a pressing concern. What do you do when your youth team are promoted, and aren't ready for first team football?

Before the promotion, you have 22 players in your squad and say 7 due for promotion to first team by age.

Obviously any that are very promising will be kept and either incorporated into your first team or sent out on loan.

What about those who could make it into your first team but aren't there yet. Do you send these out on loan.

Do you sell those who you don't think will ever make it into your first team, or do you send them on loan also hoping they improve and possibly can become a backup or be sold for more.

The reason I ask is I'm playing as Barca, and have 24 in my first team squad. The only players that are worth selling in this squad are Mililto and possibly Puyol and Afellay. Everyone else is either in the first team or a future first teamer.

My youth squad is small (only 19 players) but full of talent. I expect most could make it into my squad either as a back up or a first teamer. At the end of the next season I have seven players that will be promoted into the first team due to their age. All of them have the potential to play in the first team (barring any superstars) and one looks very promising.

Do you suggest sending them on loan since it will be hard to give them games and none will be able to be registered (no spaces currently).

Sell any back up players, or youngsters already in the first team squad that arent going to make the first team and keep the most promising and sell/loan out the rest.

Loan them all out to get regular first team football, and then sell any that aren't likely to get in the team.

What about being homegrown. Won't sending players out on loan mean that it will take an extra year for them to become homegrown?

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A couple of other questions/comments I forgot:

(1) How do you get more players from Brazil, Argentina and Chile? I am having a lot of problems with work permit issues. Although he is interested and signs on, the work permit always gets declined.

(2) How do I get into a better Youth League? Last I dominated the league--and the team I have this year is even better. It just will not be competitive as I have teams such as Brighton, Wycombe, Leyton Orient and Barnet. I was hoping for a better league.

(3) It is very difficult for me to get any of these players from other EPL or even other lower English Leagues from the Under 18's. I might have some issues with the Homegrown Rule if I cannot put any English players on my Under 18 roster.

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Before SFraser drops by, I'll give a couple of thoughts re. the above 2 posts.

I want to focus on the phrase 'squad discipline', but use it in a different way to the game - i want to say that YOU have to exert strict discipline over your squad in this way:

BDog - re. #1: you'll create this kind of problem if you are too lax in giving new recruits high squad status. I try to limit myself to granting only 6 or 7 players key/first team status. The rest of my first team squad are rotation at best. Players generally don't take kindly to having their squad status reduced, and once you have, say, 15 players on key/1st team status, you've made a problem for yourself.

Lucatonix - squad discipline. Don't let your overall squad get too bloated. One in/one out. If you promote three youths to your first team squad, ship three out. If you recruit four youths to your U18 squad, ship out the four least promising (maybe one loan initially). I always try to level best to keep my whole squad to a maximum of 50, 50% of whom are under 18.

In your case with your squad well under my maximum, use the loan system to the max. By the way, a player doesn't lose homegrown status by being loaned out. By the way, heathxxx is managing in Spain and might have more specific advice.

My technique is to focus on bringing in youngsters as 'hot prospects' and keeping them as such for a few years even when they get a dozen first team games in a season. If they get too stubborn over contract negotiations, I'm often prepared to let them go.

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I've been having good success with developing youngsters (mainly by having them as regular first teamers!) but am always looking forward to better ways on how to optimize it, as in my current save it's the only way to go to improve, really. I'm managing what is by now the biggest team in Croatia and trying to lead them to Champions League glory - I just made it beyond the group stage for the first time. My two issues are:

1) Any particular things we should be doing differently if we don't have a reserve team to play with, ie only main squad and U-18s? I suppose in such a rubbish league like Croatia we should get to loan the players as soon as possible since the competition level in the U-18s is so low?

2) My major concern is tutoring. I almost never do this at all, afraid of personality clashes since I like to keep my team in a good spirit. How do you judge the personalities of 2 players to see if they are compatible? I basically only do this if they're obviously similar ie Ambitious vs Very Ambitious, Professional vs Fairly Professional. I've had problems even with fairly neutral personalities, hence why I'm so wary. Obviously I'm missing out a lot. Then what do you do when you get a personality clash and they're both good players you don't want to get rid of?

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Tutoring is a tricky thing as you wan't to change a players personality so there has to be a difference between the two personalities but if the difference is to big it won't work at all. It's good to look up the personality guide and get a rough idea for what personality means to personality attributes. I always look for players with high determination and professionalism as I find those two attributes most important. Pressure, loyalty and ambition are also a nice bonus. Sportsmanship looks good but is never a deal breaker for me and controversy is obviously something you wan't to avoid but if you man management is good it's not a big problem.

Luckily one of the two most important attributes is always visible and the other you have to find out via his personality. If a player has high determination and is fairly professional or professional that's a good sign. If a player is resolute, spirited, or resilient the player should be in great shape mentally. Things like ambitious, loyal, light hearted, honest etc. are not bad nor good in my opinion and you should look into tutoring them. Balanced is a dangerous one because all non-regen players with a negative personality will have a balanced personality (presumably to not tick off any real life players) so it could be a bad sign.

Also don't be afraid to tutor different personalities as long as they are not too far apart (honest with realist or ambitious with loyal) and their determination is not miles apart you should be fine and if it doesn't work out just sell the player with the bad personality.

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I've been having good success with developing youngsters (mainly by having them as regular first teamers!) but am always looking forward to better ways on how to optimize it, as in my current save it's the only way to go to improve, really. I'm managing what is by now the biggest team in Croatia and trying to lead them to Champions League glory - I just made it beyond the group stage for the first time. My two issues are:

1) Any particular things we should be doing differently if we don't have a reserve team to play with, ie only main squad and U-18s? I suppose in such a rubbish league like Croatia we should get to loan the players as soon as possible since the competition level in the U-18s is so low?

2) My major concern is tutoring. I almost never do this at all, afraid of personality clashes since I like to keep my team in a good spirit. How do you judge the personalities of 2 players to see if they are compatible? I basically only do this if they're obviously similar ie Ambitious vs Very Ambitious, Professional vs Fairly Professional. I've had problems even with fairly neutral personalities, hence why I'm so wary. Obviously I'm missing out a lot. Then what do you do when you get a personality clash and they're both good players you don't want to get rid of?

Some hints of personality are also given in the 'Media Handling Styles'. Here's a list of some of them with the attributes listed alongside them, but I don't know if there's others/how accurate it is.

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This thread has close to 5,500 views. This is a high quality thread that I have to search for sometimes as I look at it a couple of times a week. Can the Admins make this a "sticky" thread?

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Or you could just bookmark it on your web browser? :)

Or you can a make a contribution to the thread? It is bookmarked for me already--and that is why I said I search for it "sometimes". You obviously missed the point of the post.

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SFraser, did you get Shelvey to Tutor at age 19 or 20?

I'm not sure what you mean.

I started tutoring Shelvey as soon as he joined and kept tutoring him as long as I had tutors with better mentals.

I also got him to tutor players that had less mentals as him right away.

In FM10 you can do both at the same time. Shelvey learning from one guy while he teaches another.

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SrFrase i play Fm10 and i have a doubt.

Recently 2 young players came to my team and I have one mental beast awesome for tutoring but when i interact with 1 of those new players, the one who appears for tutoring haven't good mentals.

Can I change that so I can put my best mental player tutoring?

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SrFrase i play Fm10 and i have a doubt.

Recently 2 young players came to my team and I have one mental beast awesome for tutoring but when i interact with 1 of those new players, the one who appears for tutoring haven't good mentals.

Can I change that so I can put my best mental player tutoring?

That's a problem I have run into before, and it's very annoying.

I guess for some deep, dark, terrible reason FM doesn't think the mentor and mentoree play in the same position.

It's stupid I know, but it's happened to me. If you really rate the player all you can do is wait until your other mentors finish their mentoring and hope one of them fits the bill.

I have had right backs that can't be mentored by my best right backs, forwards that can't learn from Rooney, and worst of all my truly amazing Natural Left Winger Aguero can only mentor central midfielders.

There is a logic too it but it's still amazingly annoying. I feel your pain, and many decent players go down the plughole because of it.

Maybe there is a case for a "sort it out SI" post here.

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I'm not sure what you mean.

I started tutoring Shelvey as soon as he joined and kept tutoring him as long as I had tutors with better mentals.

I also got him to tutor players that had less mentals as him right away.

In FM10 you can do both at the same time. Shelvey learning from one guy while he teaches another.

I meant were you able to set him as a tutor before he was 22yo.

I asked because I've been told that tutors had to be at least 22yo in FM10, but I can remember at least three players I've had that could tutor at 19 & 20 years of age.

Yes I tried that double tutoring once, but nothing seemed to change so I haven't tried it since. I thought it was a bug or something that allowed me to do this if I set them at the same time. So have you had possitive results doing this?

I'm still playing FM10 so it would be nice to know. Cheers:)

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