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Each season start, I hover over the "accept invitation" for U-19 & reserve teams league

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At the start of each season, I'm always asked if I want to accept a league invitation for the Reserves League and U-19's League (Scottish Premier League). I always accept the invitations, and then, before the transfer window closes that summer, almost all of my decent prospects have been loaned out to lower-level clubs or other teams in the same league, and I don't even have 11 players "in-club" to field a match-day squad. Most of the loaned players get playing time, but most of them still come back complaining that they would have been better off staying home. In addition, the bug that tells you that you need to talk to the loaning team's manager because he's not playing the player in the agreed position (even when the player is only being played in the agreed position) is so annoying that I regret sending them out in the first place.

I'm beginning to think I should take the salary hit of paying them to stay put (as opposed to having someone else pay to play them for me) and at least keep 11 starting prospects in each team (making them unavailable for loan) and then let the less-likely prospects go play in a 3rd-level league. I already set my unused senior team players to "available" for the Reserves or U-19s to supplement those teams, but I can't really see the logic in loaning out 40-50 non-senior team players each season and have the reserves populated with "grayed-out" players. And yes, I know I could potentially dump all those players who likely will never see the senior team, but I keep thinking I'm "growing the Stirling brand" by loaning them out.

So...thoughts? Insight? Constructive criticism?

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Most of the time I get rid of the reserves altogether and don't accept the invite. The only times I don't is in countries like Germany where your U23s play in a lower league or if I am a fairly rich Premiership club that can afford a reserve team.

Depending on the country I'm managing in that leaves me a senior & youth team to manage. Depending what I can afford I aim for a first team of 24-26 players with talented youth players providing any cover I need.

I see no point in a club having a massive amount of players that you don't use. You'll also then have more money to spend on wages & transfers for first team players you do use.

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Most of the time I get rid of the reserves altogether and don't accept the invite. The only times I don't is in countries like Germany where your U23s play in a lower league or if I am a fairly rich Premiership club that can afford a reserve team.

Depending on the country I'm managing in that leaves me a senior & youth team to manage. Depending what I can afford I aim for a first team of 24-26 players with talented youth players providing any cover I need.

I see no point in a club having a massive amount of players that you don't use. You'll also then have more money to spend on wages & transfers for first team players you do use.

So let's say you were managing Southampton or Crystal Palace in the Prem, would you have a reserve side? if it's a no, then what do you do in order to keep your non-starting 11 players fit?

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So let's say you were managing Southampton or Crystal Palace in the Prem, would you have a reserve side? if it's a no, then what do you do in order to keep your non-starting 11 players fit?

Depends on money but I probably wouldn't bother with one. The age limits of the youth team are important to consider, depending on the country this can be U18s/U19s/U20s/U21s/U23s. Some countries also allow some overage players to play for the youth team. The German setup is the ideal one IMO with youth/U23s/Senior team.

In terms of keeping players fit in a squad of 25 you should be able to keep 18-20 fit through rotation. The rest I simply don't worry about, having an odd player in the team/on the bench who isn't match fit doesn't make any significant difference and if an injury is a longer one then the backup player will gain match fitness in a couple of games.

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I always keep a very large squad.

Currently in My San Marino save, I have 103 players on the books.

It's larger than normal in FM14 because I am also the San Marino NT manager so I have kept players of Sammarinese nationality at the club who have no chance of playing for the club. They sit in the Reserves and are kept match fit so that they are ready when the U19's U21's Senior NT squad come calling.

Playing in Serie A and the EURO League means that I really need 2 full squads, and as my personal preference is to develop young players, (even those not of Sammarinese origin), it means that my U19 squad is literally busting at the seams.

I don't want to loan the best young players out because I want to be in charge of their training and development, and even the best Samamrinese youngsters also don't get loaned out for the same reason.

I have 60 players at the club who are teenagers.

I have only loaned out 24 of the 103 players. These are all players who have already been tutored or are not a priority to be tutored so there is no point them staying. many of them are fringe squad members who have neither the potential to be stars of the future, nor current ability to challenge for either a 1st or 2nd choice position. We started out with just 1 feeder club, (a tiny San Marino club), but we now have decent feeders in England, Serbia, Croatia, Belgium, Norway and China. I am happy to send young players to these clubs, but I'm not overly keen on sending them elsewhere.

40 players at the club have Sammarinese has a 1st Nationality, (with another 3-4 having it as 2nd Nationality).

41 players have featured in a Senior 1st team game so far this season, (we are just nearing the end of November).

I know that very few people will play the game this way, but it makes sense to me. I have Serie A games, EURO Cup games, domestic Cup games, U19 Group 1 games, U19 Cup games, and either 7 or 10 International games to account for each season. In addition to that I play a weekly friendly between the Reserves and the U19's and of course the Italian Youth Invitational, (which I love), and from next season I should swap the EURO Cup for the Champions League which will also mean that I will start playing U19 Champions League games. I have just once been invited into the U20 Libertadores and if invited again will be giving it my full and undivided attention.

As my game progresses and I am able to gauge a little better what sort of player the manager of my feeder clubs will want to use, my plan is to keep loaning out the better Sammarinese players, (who are obviously part of the NT, but whom are not good enough to feature for my club side). At the moment I am a little reluctant to do this because they are young and will develop more with me being tutored, and I don't want to risk them getting loaned out and stagnating.

The downside of this is that I am juggling a lot of balls at the moment. I am trying to get San Marino club to the top of the domestic pile, (will hopefully qualify for Champions League at the end of this season for the very 1st time), I am trying to keep the San Marino NT players fit even though most of them are not good enough for Serie A, I am trying to develop both the young Sammarinese players and also the hot prospect talents that I have bought in, and then of course we have the players who I actually don't want to play at all but whom I have bought in with the sole intention of being tutors to my young players. It's not easy and I'm sure in some ways I am falling down.

With all that guff written above, I would say keep players at home if you want to develop them. If you don't want to do that, (maybe you have poor facilities), then make sure they go to an active league. When i get a new feeder club I immediately make that league an active one for the next season so that I can use it.

[Edit]

Some posters above are mentioning money. I never find money an issue in FM. We only have a 22,500 Capacity stadium now, (and will be stuck with it for a while), but the money just keeps piling in. I could sell players for good money every year if I really wanted to. Money just isn't an issue at all.

I subsidise the NT via the club side, and in order to do so I suppose I sell players on for a profit that I am not going to use. I just buy players in with decent potential and maybe it might be the position, (wing-backs), or the personality, (I love a Model Pro), but if they aren't what I want then I just train them up and then sell them on. It just seems so easy to make money in this game.

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Depends on money but I probably wouldn't bother with one. The age limits of the youth team are important to consider, depending on the country this can be U18s/U19s/U20s/U21s/U23s. Some countries also allow some overage players to play for the youth team. The German setup is the ideal one IMO with youth/U23s/Senior team.

In terms of keeping players fit in a squad of 25 you should be able to keep 18-20 fit through rotation. The rest I simply don't worry about, having an odd player in the team/on the bench who isn't match fit doesn't make any significant difference and if an injury is a longer one then the backup player will gain match fitness in a couple of games.

So what makes entering a reserve side in the English Prem costly? Is there anything in the financial sheet that I could take a look at to see how much it has cost me to operate this season? Reason why I am asking is that I basically have a strong squad of say 15 players, then I have around 5 fringe players with around 15 or so youth players. I struggle to keep the 5 fringe players fit (which is why I enter the reserve league).

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So what makes entering a reserve side in the English Prem costly? Is there anything in the financial sheet that I could take a look at to see how much it has cost me to operate this season? Reason why I am asking is that I basically have a strong squad of say 15 players, then I have around 5 fringe players with around 15 or so youth players. I struggle to keep the 5 fringe players fit (which is why I enter the reserve league).

Well personally I don't like having a reserve team with just a handful of players in, this means "grey" players will be used which to me is unrealistic or youth players will be used which often isn't ideal for their development.

If you have 10-20 players in the reserve team who never play for the first team then you are paying wages to 10-20 players who aren't benefiting your club. You would be far better off saving the money or spending it on first team player's wages.

In your example though you need to rotate more IMO.

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Well personally I don't like having a reserve team with just a handful of players in, this means "grey" players will be used which to me is unrealistic or youth players will be used which often isn't ideal for their development.

If you have 10-20 players in the reserve team who never play for the first team then you are paying wages to 10-20 players who aren't benefiting your club. You would be far better off saving the money or spending it on first team player's wages.

In your example though you need to rotate more IMO.

Do you not promote any of your decent youth players to the reserve team? I have been doing this as my way of thinking was that they would be exposed to a better type of football and thought that would enhance there progression. So what do you do with any decent 15-16 year olds that you have in your U18 squad?

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Do you not promote any of your decent youth players to the reserve team? I have been doing this as my way of thinking was that they would be exposed to a better type of football and thought that would enhance there progression. So what do you do with any decent 15-16 year olds that you have in your U18 squad?

What I meant was if your reserve team isn't full sometimes youth players fill the gap meaning they play youth games & reserve games which can be too much.

For me youth players play in the youth team until they are too old. Any that outgrow the youth team in terms of skills join the senior team or get loaned out.

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What I meant was if your reserve team isn't full sometimes youth players fill the gap meaning they play youth games & reserve games which can be too much.

For me youth players play in the youth team until they are too old. Any that outgrow the youth team in terms of skills join the senior team or get loaned out.

Is the development of the youth players the same whether they played in the reserves or the youth team?

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This past season I had a perfect storm of squad management - League Cup, Scottish Cup, Champions play, somewhere between 15-20 call-ups for internationals, and oh, yeah, the 38-game league season. At one point, I had to sign two gray players just to cover my bench - and within a week or two, some team was putting in a loan bid for them, too. Plus, the database I was using has a screwy 4-game suspension for 3 yellow cards rule and my high-pressure tactics and torn-up pitch resulted in quite a few injuries, so it was difficult to scrape together 11 healthy bodies, let alone a 5-7 man bench. I'm afraid to NOT have at least two waves of back-up players.

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Is the development of the youth players the same whether they played in the reserves or the youth team?

I don't know the exact details but from my understanding for a player to develop he needs to be tested but not too much.

If the level of football he plays is too low he finds it easy and stagnates, if the level is too high he crumbles. First team football is better than reserve/youth football but I don't know if there is any difference between reserve and youth football.

This is also important to consider when you loan players out, you need to pick a level which is equal or slightly higher than their current ability where they will play.

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I don't know the exact details but from my understanding for a player to develop he needs to be tested but not too much.

If the level of football he plays is too low he finds it easy and stagnates, if the level is too high he crumbles. First team football is better than reserve/youth football but I don't know if there is any difference between reserve and youth football.

This is also important to consider when you loan players out, you need to pick a level which is equal or slightly higher than their current ability where they will play.

Okay thanks for that. I will have a ponder as to whether I enter in the reserve league this coming season as I have just finished season 3.

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I don't know the exact details but from my understanding for a player to develop he needs to be tested but not too much.

I think the more game time the better. It doesn't really matter if they are not yet ready at all.

I have blooded very average San Marino yongsters in both Serie A and the EURO League and it has worked really well. No negatives at all. The benefits to exposing to 1st team football early are huge.

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I think the more game time the better. It doesn't really matter if they are not yet ready at all.

I have blooded very average San Marino yongsters in both Serie A and the EURO League and it has worked really well. No negatives at all. The benefits to exposing to 1st team football early are huge.

Is there any benefit in youth players being put in the reserve team as opposed the youth team?

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Is there any benefit in youth players being put in the reserve team as opposed the youth team?

Please don't take what I say here as Gospel. It's just my opinion and I have absolutely no proof.

In the past, any players in the Youth Team would only train on a part-time basis as per Youth players, (even if for example they had just turned 17, had signed a pro contract and were effectively a full-time professional but training with a part-time Youth team.

If you look at the game now, you will see that your Senior team has it's own training schedule and your Reserves and U18's/19's team have their own independent schedules.

If you have a player in the Youth team who has just turned 17 and was on a pre-contract deal, (so turned Pro on his 17th birthday), then he will still effectively only be training at the same level as possibly a 14yo or 15yo who has just signed Youth terms with you. He will train with the U19 team and will rest when they rest. When they play a match he misses training and as I have "allow rest after match" ticked, he will also miss training the day after any match. That might be ok if you only have 1 match per week, (actually it isn't), but it might be much worse than that.

Let's look at my current situation.

Date in game. 15th Dec 2028.

U19 Fixtures.

Sat 16th Dec 2028. Cesena away. U19's League.

Mon 18th Dec 2028. San Marino Reserves. Friendly.

Wed 20th Dec 2028. Inter home. U19's League.

Sat 23rd Dec 2028. Parma away. U19's League.

Well it looks a bit busy, but it's actually much worse than that. This is what the training schedule looks like.

15th. Tactics.

16th. Match day so no training.

17th. Day after match so no training.

18th. Match day so no training.

19th. Day after match so no training.

20th. Match day so no training.

21st. Day after match so no training.

22nd. Tactics.

23rd. Match day so no training.

Now this isn't the norm because it is a bit extreme, but I regularly have 1 U19 game and 1 friendly against the Reserves each week, (so that's 4 days of 7 used up right there. I could of course scrap the rest day after each match but I don't want to do that.

My solution is to put the players themselves in the correct squads to start with.

When a player signs a Pro contract he is moved from the U19 squad to the Reserves. There are no Reserve leagues in Italy so what I would do is "make player available for U19's for 90 mins". This means that he trains on a full-time basis with the Reserves and when the U19's play, if he isn't involved then he still trains. The day after a match, again, he trains with the Reserves. If a player is a hot prospect then he might train with the Senior team if he is going to be on the bench or even starting. I just have to remember to either make him available for Reserves or U19's again if he is going to stay there. The problem in Italy is that the U19's often play on the morning that the Senior team has a League game so if you forget to make the U19 player unavailable for the U19's he will play in the morning despite also being in the Senior squad for the afternoon and you will have to make a late change when you press go to match and find that 2 or 3 of your subs are suddenly red and unavailable.

This works for me, but I quite like looking after my Youth team as it is a big part of my game. I can't imagine that it will suit everyone.

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I always have a youth a reserve team. I have 21/22 players in my 1st team squad, this with usually include 1-2 17/18yo who i believe can replace the current starter within a few seasons. So my 2nd XI is normally made up of youngish players. Any 17 or under play who i don't have in the 1st team plays in the youth team. The reserve team is made up of any players i can't loan out or sell and the 2nd XI is made available for the reserves.

I'm currently at PSG and reserves play in the 4th tier so standard is shocking. They are top with a 100% record after 27 and a GD of 105 but the players are not there to develop but maintain match practice. The 2nd XI play most cup games and the final 4-5 league games due to it being wrapped up by then. Its great having everyone match fit and i don't have to do anything.

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So let's say you were managing Southampton or Crystal Palace in the Prem, would you have a reserve side? if it's a no, then what do you do in order to keep your non-starting 11 players fit?

Friendlies.

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The biggest downside of the 18's is they play Saturday and can lead to a shortage of players for the 1st squad if you forget to move them up prior to Saturday,this why I will keep a small squad of U21's match fit which is easier if you have joined the league.

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Thanks Jim for your response. This season I am going to keep all U18s in the youth squad only and have decided against entering the reserve league.

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Friendlies.

This. I set up friendlies with half decent opposition whenever I can in order for me to give my youth players 'first team experience' and to give non fit first team players matches.

As far as having a reserve team, I keep it and I have all my youth players available for reserve matches. Works for me.

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nonleague. Forgot to mention that if you have designs on playing in Europe with this team in the future, (if not immediately), they you might want to not loan young players out. The homegrown at club rule is now based on where they train rather than who the parent club is. This means that if you keep loaning young players out, then they will not become homegrown at club European competition purposes. (I found this out to my cost). Once they are registered as homegrown at club, then you can send them out if you really want to, but that should be an important factor in your thinking.

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nonleague. Forgot to mention that if you have designs on playing in Europe with this team in the future, (if not immediately), they you might want to not loan young players out. The homegrown at club rule is now based on where they train rather than who the parent club is. This means that if you keep loaning young players out, then they will not become homegrown at club European competition purposes. (I found this out to my cost). Once they are registered as homegrown at club, then you can send them out if you really want to, but that should be an important factor in your thinking.

Glad that I read this as we have qualified for the Euro Cup. How many homegrown at club are required for Europe?

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