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AI Experiment - A Solomon Islands Success Story?

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Since Football Manager first hit the shelves, throughout every edition I have attempted to take small obscure nations to World Cup glory. I have only managed to get to the World Cup once, taking the Solomon Islands to the Group Stages of the 2034 World Cup and 29th in the FIFA World Rankings.

However, the challenge involved was very hard, mainly due to the fact that youth prospects were few and far between and the lack of a playable league not bringing or developing much talent.

This has led me to conceive an AI experiment to determine how much a playable league impacts on a national team. I would like to determine whether the fact that the league is simply playable develops future stars for the nation (which is definitely the case), but also the standard of players based on the reputation of the league and the success of the national side. Will the success of the national side have a great impact on youth development, or will the success of the team lead to the future success of the national squad?

From the conception of this idea however, I have also many questions I would like to ask from this experiment, which I have stated below, and share the results of this with you all here.

The Test Nation

I have decided to use the Solomon Islands as my nation for this experiment. They are a national side I have always used in my international saves throughout my FM playing years, and I have grown rather fond of the nation! Also, their international players have only cut it in their national league, as well as the Papua New Guinean Premier league, the NZ premiership and now Australia’s A-League (Benjamin Totori signed for Wellington Phoenix recently). This means most of the players will develop nationally instead of internationally.



The Solomon Islands is a nation of a small archipelago in the Oceanic continent. It is a third world country, however the national football team has had some success in Oceanic tournaments. The most notable of these was in 2004, when the team held Australia in the final stages of World Cup Qualification in the first leg, only to go on to lose the second leg.

They are currently 183rd in the world rankings.

The Pacific nations have always been shadowed by New Zealand and Australia, the latter having moved to the Asian confederation .

The national league is the recently formed Telekom S-League, in which all the clubs are amateur and play at the Lawson Tama stadium, which is also the national stadium.

I believe this nation will really stretch this experiment, as the league is very underdeveloped and a drastic increase in the dynamic league reputation may have an impact on the national squad, through youth development and an increased reputation of the Solomon Islands within the footballing world.

What I have changed

-I have made the Telekom S-League playable so that I can track the league and the successful teams within the continental competitions, and changed the reputation to 35, which is still very low for a league reputation. There is also prize money of a maximum of £100000, with a championship playoff with another £100000 up for grabs.

- I have also created an FA Cup to increase the amount of games each teams play.

- I have made the teams in the league professional, because I feel if it remains an amateur league it would take an age to develop, and with the inability to change the leagues professional status, it will benefit the experiment greatly.

-I have created two teams, as well as the original 8 teams in the S-League.

-Menapi United (named after Commins Menapi, a Solomon Islands striker) has a training level of 15 (to attract players and attempt to entice the other clubs to improve their facilities) and a youth level of 1. They also have a budget of £20m and a 20000 seater stadium.

-Totori Athletic (named after Benjamin Totori, the most high profile SI striker) has a training level of 1, and a youth level of 15 (to see if youth facilities have a massive impact of national youth development). They have the same budget as Menapi Utd and 20000 seater stadium.

Both teams have 3x the reputation of the highest reputation team currently in the Solomon Islands, which is Kossa FC with a reputation of 900.

-I have created a youth league so that the younger players are playing regularly.


-The main question is How much will the league impact the national team?

However, I would also like to determine;


- Whether the two bigger teams will either separate themselves from the rest of the teams in the division? (An example of the Scottish Premier League until recently)

- Will the other sides in the division benefit massively from possible successes of these teams?

- Will the higher training and youth stats from each side create a need for the other teams to match them?

- How long will it take for the two bigger teams to bring the league to a higher reputation and compete to be one of the best leagues in the world?


- Will the standard of youth coming through the league teams be competitive on the world stage?

- Will the Solomon Islands rise through the rankings and become a quality side based on talent coming through the league?

- If the league improves with help from the two rich clubs, how long will it take the Solomon Islands to qualify for the World Cup.

My Personal Opinion

I think that the two richer clubs will bring the league up to one of the best in the Oceanic region. Menapi Utd and Totori Ath will rival each other for the title each year, with the other clubs suffering.

However, their success in the Oceania Champions League will hopefully increase the league reputation, which might improve the other clubs slowly.

They will use their money to improve their facilities so they become competitive against each other. If this is the case, more quality youth players will develop and will in turn improve the national team in the long run. Either that, or they will lose all their money through tax.

I think it will take the national team at least 10 years to start to compete against New Zealand in the Oceanic Nations Cup and potentially the World Cup, but it will take them longer to try and compete in the World Cup playoff to qualify for the World Cup.


I am going to load a database with all international players and with the S-League as playable. I will also put the top leagues of England, Germany, Italy and Spain on view only and post seasonal league updates, just for funsies! I will post the S-League seasonal updates, and any big spending transfers, as well as the world rankings for the Solomon Islands and the top bunch.

I hope you all enjoy reading this, I hope you all provide your own opinions on this and find it interesting! Thankyou for your time!

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sounds great look forward to seeing your progress :). there also a user on here who is using Jamaica as internation team which nations do you reckon he should load up to get the most regens :)

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Well if the experiment goes as I think it will, he should make the Jamaican league playable, to give himself a wider choice. In my old save, however, there seemed to be a few regens if he loads the database with players from that region. However, the game only seemed to generate decent players for the better nations (NZ in my case) with everyone else in that region getting worse or similar players to the national pool you start with,which doesn't really allow for any great shocks on the international scene. So I would imagine the regen development for Jamaica wouldn't be that amazing.

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Pre Season Update

So, I have loaded a database with all international players available.

The National Team


As you can see, the team is 181st in the World, which means they have decreased in the rankings irl.


The national team as it starts in the game. Note no Menapi Utd or Totori Ath players yet. This might change in time for the upcoming Pacific Games, which the Solomon Islands are expected to win.


The Under 21's. This team also has no players from the richer clubs, but as you will see further down in the post, the teams have some youth that would definitely be a part of this team, if no the national team already.

S-League in the World


The league is second in the continent, yet hopefully with the two teams being richer and prospectively dominating in the O-League, it might become the best Oceanic League.

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As you can see, the current standard is below the Blue Square North and South of England, so a very poor standard of football indeed. This would mean any players developed from these teams should not really have any kind of impact on the international stage.

The two richer teams in the league


Totori Ath have the advantage here, with the better youth facilities generating the better younger players. It will be interesting to see if the youth remains the same from Menapi Utd, or suffers as a result of their poor facilities. Will Menapi Utd buy better players from their budget in an attempt to win the league? Will the youth players from these teams become national heroes in the Pacific Games, and go on to be superstars?

I also wonder whether any of the players are good enough to move to the NZ league or the A-League in nearby Australia in attempt to play a better standard of football. If so, will the national league and as a result the national team suffer as a result?

I'm predicting a Totori Ath whitewash for the first season, however, with there being a championship playoff, there may be a different competition for the two teams in the final.

The S-League


Having looked at the squads, the poorer sides are going to struggle, Kossa FC the only team that will be looking to rival the big teams.

I plan to post a first season update maybe tonight or tomorrow and as I said before any questions or predictions from yourselves would be very welcome!

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Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping that the championship pkayoff would encourage this, as evenly spread competition in the league might increase reputation.

Also had another thought, wonder if anyone can clarify this, but does the game have any specifications for a world cup to be held in any country? If so, I would be intrigued to see what happens if the league does improve and if so, would the Solomon Islands be able to bid to host a world cup?

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Post Pacific Games Update

So the Solomon Islands national team went to New Caledonia to represent the nation in the 2011 Pacific Games, a tournament they were expected to win. They had three friendlies to warm up before the game, with the team changing significantly from the initial starter team that was shown. However, they lead to uninspiring results, winning, drawing and losing to Tahiti, Fiji and Tahiti again respectively.


As you can see, Totori Athletic's players have dominated the national team. They have the stronger youth setup, but the poorest training facilities, which may impact on their players in the future, and in turn the national team. Menapi Utd's training facilities hasn't done them any justice, they have good players, but havent been selected for the national team.

Another interesting development is the formation of the national U21 squad. The Totori Ath players have the ability to play in the first team squad for the Solomon Islands, yet the AI has placed them in the U21 squad.


The Pacific Games[/center]

The Islanders had an easy, breezy group stage, winning all three of their group games.


They were drawn against the Wallis and Futana Islands in the Quarter finals, expecting to progress against lower opposition. However...


A shock loss resulted in an early exit for the Melanesians.

Now onto the OCE Nations Cup in June, where bigger opposition in the form of New Zealand await.

National News

Totori Athletic and Menapi Utd spent their pre season spending their money on the best Solomon players in the League currently, not buying anyone of any real quality however. The fact that there are no international restrictions either in an attempt to lure better quality to the league has failed, only SI players have been bought.

Rangers Honiara are representing the nation in the O-League, but as of the last time I checked it, they were failing miserably.

I may have a end of season update tonight, we shall see.

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So apparently my computer is faster than I thought!

End of Season 2011/2012 Update


Totori Athletic dominated the league, winning the championship and the playoff final to become proper champions, beating Makuru 2-1 in the final.


However, as you can see, the most interesting development is the fact that Menapi Utd finished rock bottom of the league. It is strange to see that good youth facilities has a massive impact on league performance and by all accounts the training facilities aren’t so important.

Attendances are good, ranging from 2605 to 14404 in the league.

Marist caused a shock in the U18 league by winning it, with the amazing youth of Totori Athletic coming second.

Rangers Honiara slumped to six losses in the group stage of the OFC Champions league, which was eventually NZ dominated in a Waitakere Utd victory in the final against Auckland City.

I’m hoping the high attendances may improve funds within the teams in the league and also that Menapi Utd may spend on their training to avoid another awful season.


The Oceanic Nations Cup was held in June 2012, with the Solomon Islands in a group with a decent chance of progressing. They did so with a little bit of luck.


However, a semi final against New Zealand was on the cards and did not end well, being pretty much dominated by the All Whites.


However, by the end of the first season, the Solomon Islands had risen 40 or so places up the World Rankings!


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Something promising…

Here’s the best player in the Solomon Islands currently, developed by the good youth facilities at Totori Athletic.


Considering the talent in the squad before the start of the season, this looks promising in terms of better regens being made due to playable leagues (and a little help with good youth facilities)

Seasons abroad

Just for your interests!




I hope you are all enjoying reading this, I hope to make many updates to make this an interesting experiment anyway, which may help your international careers with obscure nations.

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It seems that Youth Facilties are more important than Training facilities.

Fifii dosn't seem to bad, and I could see him holding his own in the BSS/N and even the BSP.

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2012/2013 Seasonal Update

The season just gone brought up some interesting results, both nationally and internationally.


The S-League was won again by Totori Athletic, winning against Kossa in the final. However, Menapi Utd improved on their dismal season just gone by signing as many players as they can and eventually gained a respectful 4th place, only to play Totori in the semi finals of the Championship playoff.



The most interesting development in the national scene was the fact that when all the clubs released players at the end of the season, they were all retiring, regardless of age. However, all the Solomon Islanders that started the game playing abroad have moved back to the national league, bar Benjamin Totori, who plays for O-League winning Waitakere Utd, and Michael Fifii, who plays for Team Wellington in NZ.

An important factor in an improvement of the national league is the fact that Totori Ath managed to sign two foreigners, both old, but both with many caps on the international scene, one from Venezuela and one from Thailand. This will be important in improving the league in the long run and hopefully the league will become a better league as a result.

Naha U18s won the Youth League, mainly due to the fact that Totori are using their youth straight away rather than giving them a chance to develop in the lower leagues. In the long run, this may improve the youth quicker, however, it isn’t using their youth facilities to full extent.


Walas are becoming richer due to the fact they own the national stadium, which all the other clubs use and pay rent for. Hopefully they may produce better competition.

Totori Ath also entered the O-League for the first time, however, they failed at the group stages. The competition was eventually won again by Waitakere Utd, who beat Auckland City (again!).

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The national team decided to change their manager, sacking their Brazilian manager for a local manager.

This season was important for the Solomons as they entered in the World Cup Qualifying stages, but they failed to even make an impact.


I think this was mainly due to the fact that the exciting youth players from Totori Ath were being placed in the U21 squad, Gibson Fifii. The AI does not seem to take ability into consideration, just placing the better players in the U21s due to their age.

The U21 and the U19 as a result are dominating their friendlies, winning very convincingly.

At the end of the World Cup Qualifiers, the team were 143rd in the world, which really needs to improve if they are going to attempt to make an impact.


At the moment, the improvement in the development of players are not having a profound impact on the national team. As stated above, this must be due to the AI placing the players in their respective age groups, rather than putting them in the first team if their abilities are good enough. Either way, the Solomon Islanders should improve if all their youth players are currently good enough to replace the first team.

Hopefully the introduction of foreign internationals in the league may improve the reputation in order to develop better youth players, which in turn should help the national squad.

I will post other leagues from other nations if you request them, so just let me know!

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I think this was mainly due to the fact that the exciting youth players from Totori Ath were being placed in the U21 squad, Gibson Fifii. The AI does not seem to take ability into consideration, just placing the better players in the U21s due to their age.

that is haappening in my Luxembourg game

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