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A Guide to Developing Youngsters


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just a quick question...

do younger players mental stats develop more as they get older? I ask this because I have a host of young players who are getting alot of mental attributes around 13ish at about 20 y/o but they arent improving much. Should I increase tactics training or will they improve by the time they are 23/24?

thanks

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Yea , my team usually gets like 2-3 wonder kids a year.

I'm managing ac milan , I think its because my youth coaches are good , they have like 17-20 Potential ability judgment.

Now i don't know if thats why i get good youth but i think that helps, what do you guys think?

Do you remember if the positions these wonderkids played in were/are, mostly, not quite suitable for your tactic?

ie. Standard 4-4-2 getting Natural DMs & AMCs. 4-1-2-1-2 getting Natural M L/Rs. etc.

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What leagues and countries do you recommend for scouting? I have 18 scouts at the moment scouting the major nations ( I think!), but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts and advice on this.

I have found these pages where the major footballing nations are listed. However I am not sure if that would work in FM.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Football_Elo_Ratings

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strongest_football_nations_by_Elo_Ratings

Would these lists work well?

Just to add to FaceCrushers help, Nigeria=10th January, many West African countries=15th January.

It's easy to find out when newgens appear in any country; go to the Nation's page and search it's teams for players with Youth contracts, go to Player Profile, Achievements (via History) and check the "Date Joined". Do a few to make sure they tally, et voila.

An obvious strategy is to prioritise those countries that produce more of the better players, in real life and in the game, but don't ignore the "lesser footballing nations" as gems can turn up anywhere in the world.

Send your best scouts to the most obvious countries on the day the newgens appear in them with explicit instructions 'Age-is at most-18' and you might just get in before the rest.

Delay can prove very costly and I have learnt it is best to scout only Nations until there is some "newgen downtime".

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Hmm, might have missed it but what happens to the players who are over 18, but don't have 16 or above determination yet? I assume they're kept in the reserves till they're groomed?

With Pacheco in my Liverpool squad, he's good enough to play Championship football but has only 10 Determination, and definitely won't play any first team games, which means he will be in the reserves for the season.

Also regarding the u18s, when is it that you feel they're better off loaned to a L2 side, rather than playing U18 matches?

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Really great stuff, i am playing FM 11 in the SPL and have an interesting conundrum, which is that although i have a reserve team, they play no fixtures (as in real life, the SPL reserve league was scrapped a few years ago).

Whats the best way to get round this for development? arrange lots of friendlies for the reserves? or lean heavier on the loans system?

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  • 4 weeks later...

For what it's worth in my experience it doesn't really make a difference anymore, it might have been the case in previous versions, but i've loaned players to non-playable leagues that still got very good development

I made a small example on this thread of the development of a youngster that was loaned to a non-active league club, he still developed nicely:

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/265470-Loaning-youngsters-out?p=6819173&viewfull=1#post6819173

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Really great stuff, i am playing FM 11 in the SPL and have an interesting conundrum, which is that although i have a reserve team, they play no fixtures (as in real life, the SPL reserve league was scrapped a few years ago).

Whats the best way to get round this for development? arrange lots of friendlies for the reserves? or lean heavier on the loans system?

I've always arranged loads of friendlies when managing in Scotland and found it to work ok. I kept the fixtures realistic by playing the reserves from other Scottish and North England teams. My training facilities were pap tho so the players would of been better going on loan!! I would think some decent reserve fixtures would be almost as good as competitive reserve fixtures - the problem with any reserve games is a lack of pressure. Fm DOES rate reserve and youth fixtures but not that highly, however, a good U18 cup run (in England at least) will lead to enhanced player development.

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Just a few questions for SFraser - firstly great thread. I've started a new save and have started some of your steps. What i would like to know is when you take over at your club what do you do? Do you invest in your first team at all? And what do you do with the youth team players you have - if they are not up to it do you just get rid? I've started out by replacing my coaches and hiring some decent scouts. I sohould tell you though rather than being a big team I have taken over at Coventry - I have a long term project to get them back in the prem as they were when I was growing up. My aim as I go forward is to become a selling club while we get ourselves established - I will have to sell to invest in the youth team to start with.

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Great thread SFraser.

I've been developing youth for my squad for 11 seasons now before reading this thread and alot of what you have mentioned is what I've been doing anyway, but there are some useful tips in here which I plan to implement.

I have developed some youngsters into world-class players, and have a conveyor belt with new wonderkids coming through, with a whole host of promising youngsters after that.

My problem is that my squad is too big. It's just after the regen date and I have 75 players, even after releasing ageing players on frees. I've managed to get a new feeder club in the league below to send some of my good prospects, but I still have a huge squad.

I tend to do huge amounts of scout reports during pre-season, getting report cards on about 3000 players under 17 each season. Any with 3.5 stars or more PA will get further scouting and I usually end up buying as many as I can afford since I don't want my rivals to get them. I just can't resist spending on them because they may turn out good.

I end up with loads of extra players who never make my first team and don't fully develop, and I end up losing money on them. But I don't mind this, as out of every 6 players I may get 5 duds and one who makes the first team. This is a good enough ratio for me.

Making a financial return isn't that important to me, I spent £14m to buy one 16 year old but he has gone on to become the best defender in the game. I guess I am lucky that my club is pretty wealthy and I can spend every penny of my transfer budger on youth.

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This is a good system.

However playing in Spain is a real pain when it comes to developing kids. With the 25 man squad and the u19 team eligibility added to the fact that there is no reserve league means that I end up ditching quite a few youngsters.

Players that are 18+ that arent quite good enough for the 25 have to be loaned out, meaning I have less control of their development. Plus it is ridiculously hard to get a proper feeder team.

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I have exactly the same problem as you Kenco.

I find myself rushing for the transfer window with ruthless intentions, only to find it impossible to get rid of anyone because no AI club rates my mediocre (i.e. still high potential, but not high enough) players enough to even bid £1m for them.

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I have exactly the same problem as you Kenco.

I find myself rushing for the transfer window with ruthless intentions, only to find it impossible to get rid of anyone because no AI club rates my mediocre (i.e. still high potential, but not high enough) players enough to even bid £1m for them.

Sounds like they need more game time, their reputation maybe too low hence a lack of interest. Have you tried farming them out on loan?

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People probably noticed this before but i was picking a feeder club and one of the recommendations was made because of the good relationship between myself and their manager (i was on his favoured personnel list) i just thought it was a nice little touch, might be worth to praise some lower division managers just in hope of getting linked to that club since on FM11 doesn't let you pick a specific club from anywhere..

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People probably noticed this before but i was picking a feeder club and one of the recommendations was made because of the good relationship between myself and their manager (i was on his favoured personnel list) i just thought it was a nice little touch, might be worth to praise some lower division managers just in hope of getting linked to that club since on FM11 doesn't let you pick a specific club from anywhere..

Very interested post Coentrao i will give this a try for sure, could be very handy especially as the choosing feeder club option in FM2011 is bugged..

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People probably noticed this before but i was picking a feeder club and one of the recommendations was made because of the good relationship between myself and their manager (i was on his favoured personnel list) i just thought it was a nice little touch, might be worth to praise some lower division managers just in hope of getting linked to that club since on FM11 doesn't let you pick a specific club from anywhere..

Still playing FM10 but this is how I finally managed to get the club of my choice (FC Nantes) to agree to be my feeder, became the manager's friend, then hit the board. Pity it took 4 or 5 failures before I tried it. I haven't played a real save since, so I didn't know if it was a fluke, but your post suggests it wasn't.:thup:

EDIT: Just checked and his relationship to me was 'feels we could become good friends'!? Maybe this was enough though, I had made 3/4 positive comments.

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when youngsters are 16 yrs old i will tutor them until they are 17. The end up have high determination and okay mentals but when they are 17 they just got they first professional contract. I am wondering if I should leave him in the under-18 for a year where he would train at my top class facilities for year and would get a boost in attributes (since on a professional contract the train more than on a youth contract). Then at 18 yrs old I loan him out or should I loan him out once he is finished getting tutored ?

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Sounds like they need more game time, their reputation maybe too low hence a lack of interest. Have you tried farming them out on loan?

I agree, but they're not good enough to warrant first team football (I'd rather give this to players I want to develop) and loaning helps to a certain extent, but not much. Especially when they're so rubbish that they don't get more than a handful of games :D

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when youngsters are 16 yrs old i will tutor them until they are 17. The end up have high determination and okay mentals but when they are 17 they just got they first professional contract. I am wondering if I should leave him in the under-18 for a year where he would train at my top class facilities for year and would get a boost in attributes (since on a professional contract the train more than on a youth contract). Then at 18 yrs old I loan him out or should I loan him out once he is finished getting tutored ?

I wonder that myself from time to time.

What I always end up doing is keeping them if the club(s) I would be loaning them to have really cruddy facilities. Later on when I have a really good feeder club I'll send them out ASAP for that vital 1st team experience.

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I agree, but they're not good enough to warrant first team football (I'd rather give this to players I want to develop) and loaning helps to a certain extent, but not much. Especially when they're so rubbish that they don't get more than a handful of games :D

You could aim for a slightly lower club who want him as a 1st Team player as this would give him lots of playing time. From what I've seen, it's better to loan a youngster to a team at a lower level, who are battling for promotion, than to a team fighting to avoid relegation, in the league above.

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It always amazes me (in a good way) that people take so much time and put in so much effort on threads like this so that other people can benefit. I've read this a few times now - the first time out of interest, and the next two for help because the first read put an idea for a save in my head. Thank you for the work you put in SF.

Now, a question or two.

1. I'm not sure what of the intended difference between the 'holding' and 'development' feeder clubs. Could you/someone try explaining that for my dead-head. I would look at the L1 club as being the first stop for a loaned player, followed by the Championship - but you're utilising them differently.

2. Is 50% of the season being tutored and 50% spent on loan still the best way to develop a young player so that he doesn't gain ground too quickly and can't be tutored anymore?

3. SF, could you break down the thinking behind the numbers for your playing staff please? You mention 4 or 5 players for each position - could that include one of them on loan? One is a no hoper in the U18s making up the numbers? A slot in the first team (say DL) could be played by as many as 3 or 4 players? The way you suggest running the club from top to bottom is new for me and I'm trying to get a feel for your ideas.

Thank you.

EDIT:

4. I've never bought players so young and I've never completed a season in England before. So I don't know when players can join your team after being bought. Brazilians are 18 right? Is that all south Americans? What about Africans? UK and mainland Europe players are any age right?

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Just a few thoughts:

At first, it's a great reading and good advice for those who want to get deeper into the game. However, situation described in OP is excellent and needs hard work and time to achieve. Manchester United is in such position in football that only few others are, so trying to build up system like is described in OP takes at least twice as much time (build up reputation, hire world class staff, get best possible feeder clubs etc.) However, the system what SFraser created is obviously right way to start and I completely agree that youth development is a process that has to involve full club system and manager himself.

My own experiments and testing in that field include mostly Ajax Amsterdam, as I play my big long-term saves only with them. I am clearly less rational and more emotional in this field, trying to rely solely to home-grown youth players (from my own youth system) or at least only Dutch-Belgium players with exception that I never sign anyone from Feyenoord or PSV. As you might expect, this limits somewhat my choices of young talents and diminishes the importance of scouting network.

I even find some time to browse through all three Dutch U-19 competitions and teams, if necessary.

Secondly, it has to be said that I'm very careful when it comes to loaning out players. In my experience only 1 out of every 5 loan spells turn out to be useful and to be honest, having such manager in feeder club as SFraser has is a luxury that most of clubs can't afford or find in the game. So your player is most likely ruined by either feeder club manager, incompetent staff or average training grounds. Public opinion in these forums bounces between regular first team opportunity and good training facilities and training program. Personally I feel that my excellent training grounds + good tutoring is better than rotting on the bench of smaller league club.

Thirdly, I manage my youth and reserve team myself (true that, it takes me 1-2 months to finish a season, but I too like to get into details like SFraser, so I don't mind). I feel that I can learn to know my players better this way and I get a hunch about how they react to my team talks. Unfortunately there's still no assman feedback for reserves or U-19 teamtalk which is a pity.

My youth team includes only players from my own youth intake. I never let anyone go even if they're rubbish. It might appear that next year there's nobody coming in to this specific position and they have to fill the spot, however it's obvious that when player is a rubbish (half-star potential ability) he doesn't get my full attention. I've found that every youth intake in my Ajax team produces 2-3 good prospects. 'good' in this context meaning the player with at least 3* potential ability what, in other terms, means 'good Eredivisie player' or 'leading Eredivisie player'. That's good enough.

My first team squad includes some 23-25 players, 3-5 of them get to play a bit less than others and are made available for reserve team. Reserve team itself includes some 10-11 youngsters in age 18-19. They are good enough to deserve professional contract. So every game my reserve team gets to field around 16-18 players which is enough, considering injuries and international duties. Reserve players play in reserve games and also in Dutch Cup, as Ajax 2 is taking part of the competition. Last time I reached to semi-finals with them in 2012 season.

Basically, I've found that when player turns 19 it's the latest time to decide what to do with him, as from this age he definitely needs first team experience. Whether I loan him out (if I can't include him to first team), find him playing time in my first team or just sell him (if he doesn't turn out as good as expected). It very often depends on competition in the first team squad as well - if I have a spot there or not. If the competitors on specific position are rather older or younger - do I need long term replacement to anyone? It sometimes happens that I have two talented left wingers coming in a row from youth intakes, so I have to choose which one to keep and which one to sell.

Finally, I'd like to stress out the factor that SFraser mentioned fairly briefly - taking risks. I don't like that, but I recognize that it's the only way to successfully develop good youngsters. Throwing a 19 yo player into first team action, you have to face the chances of failure. In my save I had a moment when Ajax was playing against Arsenal in ECC and I had to throw in DC pair of Boilesen and Xandro Schenk, 20 and 19 yo respectively. They are real players, search them out if you like. Apart from one lost header from Schenk (in our 5 yard box, that resulted a goal) they did very well and we won 3-1.

But I have to say that playing regularly at least some 20 games in a season does wonders with youngsters attributes and if you have enough courage to risk with them in age of 19, they are superb players in the age of 23-24. It often appears to me that my scouts and coaches rate a 19 yo player with 3 star potential ability, but in the age of 21-22 the same player gets already 3,5-4* rating.

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Regarding the suggestion that a coaches attributes can drop if assigned to an alien duty (for example a coach that likes to works with goalkeepers but having good fitness attributes too, being assigned to fitness) - Ballack says he's happy to start coaching now (10/11). His preferred coaching is general but he's not really suited to that, he has a reasonably high fitness and mental attribute. With the mental attribute being of little use in isolation, I'd like to get him involved with the fitness roles. Do you, think in time, his preferred coaching role would change (maybe when he stops playing) or just that his coaching attributes would suffer??

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I don't think his coaching attributes will suffer (decline) for ballack is still a young coach,hence he is gaining attributes. He is not yet specialized hence he has general ( I think) so training him in fitness might turn him into a fitness coach.

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Good thread SFraser

I apologise if this has been asked before but if a youngster has "doesnt relish big occasions" as a weakness in the scout report do you dismiss signing him or can it be altered, pehaps by mentoring?

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when youngsters are 16 yrs old i will tutor them until they are 17. The end up have high determination and okay mentals but when they are 17 they just got they first professional contract. I am wondering if I should leave him in the under-18 for a year where he would train at my top class facilities for year and would get a boost in attributes (since on a professional contract the train more than on a youth contract). Then at 18 yrs old I loan him out or should I loan him out once he is finished getting tutored ?

I like my Under-18s to have a good cup run so I need to keep a fair number of my good youngsters to try and win the cup which means that most players stay until 18., which also allows them to enjoy further tutoring. I don't care about reserve games as these don't seem to give much of a developmental boost whereas the 18s cuprun does seem to. Really good youngsters will still be given loan time IF they have a good personality and the loan club has good facilities and a good manager and are playing at a good level to allow my player to get game time and to play well.

Getafe loaned a player of mine but didn';t play him for 6 months so I brought him back and he's developing fine in the 18s even though he is clearly above that level. Curiously I think they paid for his services so I don't think he should of been recall-able, ah well, I'll call it a gentlemans agreement.

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I have a question, forgive me if it sounds stupid. I am managing a team in the English Zamaretto Premier (im using an add on) and my Assistant has said that there is a player in my u18s (newgen) who 'has the potential to be one of the best at the club'. My question is, as I am managing so low down and all staff/players are on part time contracts, How would I get him to reach his potential? I am also limited to the number of coaches that i can have (1 I believe, not including ass man)

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At that level I would play him in a few matches at the start of the season and if he does well (rating above seven preferably) continue playing him. If he struggles wait a bit and test him again in easy matches later on in the season. He probably won't reach his maximum potential unless you skyrocket through the leagues, but he can certainly become one of the best players at your club.

Another thing is tying him to a full-time contract as soon as possible so that he trains more and you can mould his attributes to help him perform better.

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Good thread SFraser

I apologise if this has been asked before but if a youngster has "doesnt relish big occasions" as a weakness in the scout report do you dismiss signing him or can it be altered, pehaps by mentoring?

Get him tutored. If his determination and professionalism seem good enough I'll sign him. If he still has that weakness when he's looking at first team games I'll either get rid of him, or just keep hold of him for less important games.

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Good thread SFraser

I apologise if this has been asked before but if a youngster has "doesnt relish big occasions" as a weakness in the scout report do you dismiss signing him or can it be altered, pehaps by mentoring?

"doesnt relish big occasions" is the least severe of the Important Match comments and has the best chance of being rectified, in the mean time give him the 'No Pressure' team talk before each match.

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Great thread. I've learnt a lot from it, thanks everyone :)

I was wondering something though. I've managed to collect a few players who are touted/dubbed/could be the next/new Whoever. Has anyone found them to be easier to develop than just say a promising player? I've noticed that they seem to be sold for big money, or quickly shoot up in value, though whether they live up to their tags performance wise I don't know.

Do they benefit from a different system of tutoring and development? I've found them quite hard to tutor so far. I know tutoring is a little tricky but they seem especially resistant. I don't know whether that's because they are harder or because it bothers me more when they say no! :D

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To be honest i never paid attention to that, i always thought it was only cosmetic and not relevant to their development, could be wrong though.

I find that the youngsters that are "short-tempered","volatile" or "confrontational" refuse tutoring often.. it could be that i suppose.

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Great thread. I've learnt a lot from it, thanks everyone :)

I was wondering something though. I've managed to collect a few players who are touted/dubbed/could be the next/new Whoever. Has anyone found them to be easier to develop than just say a promising player? I've noticed that they seem to be sold for big money, or quickly shoot up in value, though whether they live up to their tags performance wise I don't know.

Do they benefit from a different system of tutoring and development? I've found them quite hard to tutor so far. I know tutoring is a little tricky but they seem especially resistant. I don't know whether that's because they are harder or because it bothers me more when they say no! :D

They normally have a higher-than-average potential with a decent attribute spread which leads to media hype which leads to an inflated reputation hence tutoring can sometimes be difficult and hence the vastly inflated transfer fees. Their development will be no different to any other player.

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Thanks guys.

To be honest i never paid attention to that, i always thought it was only cosmetic and not relevant to their development, could be wrong though.

I find that the youngsters that are "short-tempered","volatile" or "confrontational" refuse tutoring often.. it could be that i suppose.

Only one of the four next so and so's I have has volatile or something along those lines. The rest are balanced, reserved, professional etc. They seem to be just as likely to refuse. I think it might be a case of letting them bed in and maybe develop some favoured staff. Hopefully in a position to tutor them.

They normally have a higher-than-average potential with a decent attribute spread which leads to media hype which leads to an inflated reputation hence tutoring can sometimes be difficult and hence the vastly inflated transfer fees. Their development will be no different to any other player.

The reputation could be key. I hadn't thought about that but it makes sense that if they're being dubbed and touted as a future star that there rep is higher. A pain when it comes to tutoring but if it means I can shift some mediocre youth players after a season or two for good money then I can reinvest that in the youth set up.

I bought the next Fernando Torres for 1.9m, he played about 14 games last season (mainly cup or from the bench) and now at the start of the new season I've gotten bids of around 4m. If he doesn't develop then it might be worth letting him go and either upgrading the facillities or buying a couple more cheap 'touted' players.

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Thanks guys.

Only one of the four next so and so's I have has volatile or something along those lines. The rest are balanced, reserved, professional etc. They seem to be just as likely to refuse. I think it might be a case of letting them bed in and maybe develop some favoured staff. Hopefully in a position to tutor them..

They are more likely to agree to tutoring if you are one of his favoured personnel, but the random factor plays such havoc it's impossible to know the reason why a youngster refuses.

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The real secret is to get them before they are touted, develop them, and sell them when they are touted!!

I quite like seeing how much profit I can get from a youngster, my best so far is a 12k purchase being sold for 6M in 3 years, not to shabby when he was only paid peanuts.

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Hello SFraser, I am making this post to thank you for this great guide.

I tried your method with Botafogo on Brazil and I had quite a lot of success, most of the youngsters I trained became part of the Seleção and now they play for the biggest teams in the world.

Unfortunately I couldn't keep them at my club for long due to a massive amount of clubs wanting to buy them, an uncooperative chairmen accepting bids left and right and those damn agents, but I had a lot of fun with the game playing this way, thanks again.

Here are the best players I could develop:

I had to post the pictures on an album due to the image limit, I'm sorry for the descriptions without pictures.

http://imgur.com/a/Ky78v#2qpnP

Baiano:

Somehow the game never generated a "successor" for Paulo Henrique on the AMC position, therefore Baiano is the best I got.

Flavinho:

Very solid MC, not much else I can say.

Maurício:

Another solid MC, although hes got quite the temper.

Quinho:

Currently the best DC on my save.

Paulinho:

The next Ronaldo? Not quite, but he's very close.

Marcelinho and Xipote:

To be fair I did not had a lot of faith on them while they were with me, Marcelinho seemed incapable of maintaining form and Xipote was quite the late bloomer, so when I saw him on another team I was happily surprised at his stats.

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This guide has been very useful to me. It has a taken a couple seasons, but not I think I have my self in a position to give my youngsters a lot more first team experience than I did before. And it has really helped to develop my best youngsters. I have 17 and 18 yr olds who look really ready to break into the first team.

My only problem is deciding whether to sell them or sell my more experience players. Its hard to decide when you become attached to your players.

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This guide has been very useful to me. It has a taken a couple seasons, but not I think I have my self in a position to give my youngsters a lot more first team experience than I did before. And it has really helped to develop my best youngsters. I have 17 and 18 yr olds who look really ready to break into the first team.

My only problem is deciding whether to sell them or sell my more experience players. Its hard to decide when you become attached to your players.

Agreed. I always find it too difficult to part with my good youngsters.

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  • 5 weeks later...

With regard to your scouting setup -- do you set all of your scouts (or the ones scouting 'world' and the top leagues) to only scout players under a certain age? I would think you want them to focus on finding good young players rather than players that are instant first-teamers, but you also want to be aware of these players...

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^ same for me.

I also then filter the results and re-look at anyone 3 stars above with determination of 15+.

This works well when you have a strong team, but you will need to adjust accordingly when you have weaker teams.

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With regard to your scouting setup -- do you set all of your scouts (or the ones scouting 'world' and the top leagues) to only scout players under a certain age? I would think you want them to focus on finding good young players rather than players that are instant first-teamers, but you also want to be aware of these players...

I think if you are going to put the time and effort into developing a youngster with the intention of making him a long term first team player, you should make sure that he will become 'homegrown at club'. This means signing them before they reach 18 years of age, so I set my scout filter, Age>Is At Most>18.

This is the rule regarding 'club trained players' vM1Rf.png

This seems to allow for players signed after their 18th birthday to still become 'club trained' by the end of the season in which they turn 21. I might be interpreting this rule wrongly, so any lawyers out there please feel free clarify it.

This, and the fact that some scouts seem to get confused with the filter set to 17 or less is why I choose Age 18.

Also, the best way of finding the best youngsters before anyone else is to scout a Nation starting on the day that newgens appear in that Nation. There is a list of these dates somewhere, but you can easily find out these dates. Go to a club's youth team and check the 'date joined' on the payers History>Achievements. (check a few to see that they coincide)

EDIT: sorry about the size of the print on the screenshot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Could someone see if my training regime matches up with the method that was given in the OP about making the young players one dimensional. I plan on using this guy as a central defender with stopper duty.

Player:

Screen-shot-2011-09-25-at-19-57-58kc9_th.png

Training Schedule:

Screen-shot-2011-09-25-at-20-00-23k5r_th.png

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