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lower league management tips

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I'm playing FM16 and thinking of starting a LLM save in the English 12th tier(doing create a club). Does anyone have any tips regarding mainly:

  • Scouting
  • recruitment (players and staff)
  • Keeping hold of amateur players
  • Finance
  • other

I have some ideas myself but want to see what ideas everyone else has. I'm going to be doing to a homegrown challenge as well only signing players from the local area and those in my youth academy)

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With small transfer, scouting, and wage budgets I usually focus on the free agent market and take alot of players on trial. And I mean alot of players. I also look at players whose contracts are expiring in a year or less and shortlist them and try to snatch them up when the contract expires. Sometimes you will find older players from better leagues past their prime but they'll be beasts in the lower leagues, although they tend to be more injury prone.

LLM clubs have poor youth recruitment usually and the youth intake will suck for several years. I'm not big on developing my own youth players, though, maybe others could chime in.

As far as staff goes I try to get a coach in with good fitness training attributes, and will splurge on the best scout I can find. 

The most frustrating part of LLM for me is retaining amateur/non-contract players. Nothing more maddening than clicking the advance button only to find your best striker has jumped ship at a crucial time. It seems like you'll have a better chance of keeping players if the team is winning, but other than that I don't know how to retain them myself!

Finances are on a shoestring, so controlling the wage budget is huge. I don't care how good a player is, when contract renewals come up and he starts making insane demands or add ons, he's gone. Lower league players are pretty much all replaceable. You'll go deep into the red trying to appease players. I like to prioritize the FA cup for extra funds, and I used to schedule one friendly with a big team to generate funds, but lately they haven't been as lucrative with the extra match day costs of the stadium, etc. 

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6 hours ago, 225C said:

The most frustrating part of LLM for me is retaining amateur/non-contract players. Nothing more maddening than clicking the advance button only to find your best striker has jumped ship at a crucial time. It seems like you'll have a better chance of keeping players if the team is winning, but other than that I don't know how to retain them myself!

 

 

Offering them a new contract every single time another team approaches them works, even if you're just offering another non-contract deal. The kicker is that if a player has been playing well, he won't hesitate to ask for a big contract the next time you try to retain him, and then jump ship if you don't have enough left in your tiny wage budget. So, you don't even get a chance to sell him. It's definitely annoying when you're managing a semi-pro club.

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Here are my tips:


- Avoid youth players. Sell or get rid of them. You don't have the facilities to train them anyways.
- Use lots of loan players. Figure out what the rules are on loan players, then max out the count. Try to spend 0 annually for the players you get to save money.
- Speed + Stamina is huge in lower league. Focus on that.
- Prioritize rest over training. Players complain more, and it doesn't help you'll be a newbie coach alongside a limited roster of coaches who will fail to provide enough 1-on-1 attention.
- Scout current ability. Ignore potential.
- Do six to 12 friendlies in preseason. Balance vs. big teams (cash) and small teams (morale).
- Use Rigid or Disciplined form.
- Try to find players who are versatile so you can plug them in multiple positions. You won't have the luxury of a huge bench.

Edited by ReMeDy

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My small tips:

  • Don't bother with talents unless they can play the current season. As soon as they are good enough they will be poached anyway and you won't get anything from it. Do try to get good players through your intakes, but don't sign players with low ability and high potential.
  • Pacey strikers and hoof the ball up. The best lower league tactical choice.
  • Don't bother with role familiarity. Pick the role you want and stats you feel match. I've played with a defender as a striker before simply because he was fast and had the best finishing in the team.
  • If your players can be poached so can others. If the other team have an excellent player who would fit in, then poach him. If he signs a new contract with his current team. Then try again! The AI does it all the time with your players so why not turn the tables on them.
  • Don't over complicate tactics. I mentioned the hoofball earlier. Remember, these are poor players, so trying to do a tiki-taka like Barcelona isn't the best idea.
  • Accept personal mistakes. Both your players and the opposition are going to make massive blunders on a regular basis. Don't be annoyed, don't rage, it happens to everyone at lower level.

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11 hours ago, CX1329 said:

 

Offering them a new contract every single time another team approaches them works, even if you're just offering another non-contract deal. The kicker is that if a player has been playing well, he won't hesitate to ask for a big contract the next time you try to retain him, and then jump ship if you don't have enough left in your tiny wage budget. So, you don't even get a chance to sell him. It's definitely annoying when you're managing a semi-pro club.

I'm going to definitely give this a try. Before I kind of resigned myself to losing the player, might keep me going in a save.

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11 hours ago, XaW said:

My small tips:

  • If your players can be poached so can others. If the other team have an excellent player who would fit in, then poach him. If he signs a new contract with his current team. Then try again! The AI does it all the time with your players so why not turn the tables on them.

How can I best take advantage of this? Let's say a player's contract is about to expire from another team; does the transfer fee keep getting lower as the player's contract comes close to expiring? If so, I should wait until the very last day, although I'd prefer not to have to pay a transfer fee at all, but if I wait until his contract has expired, that's probably not good either, as I imagine that opens the player to more offers.

What happens if the player's team re-signs him before his contract's expired? At that point, there's nothing much I can poach.

Edited by ReMeDy

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25 minutes ago, ReMeDy said:

How can I best take advantage of this? Let's say a player's contract is about to expire from another team; does the transfer fee keep getting lower as the player's contract comes close to expiring? If so, I should wait until the very last day, although I'd prefer not to have to pay a transfer fee at all, but if I wait until his contract has expired, that's probably not good either, as I imagine that opens the player to more offers.

What happens if the player's team re-signs him before his contract's expired? At that point, there's nothing much I can poach.

I were initially talking about non-contracts here. With those there are no expiry and they can thus be poached at any time. For part-time contracts I would be very cautious of paying pretty much anything at all. If the player in question have an expiring contract then you can often try to sign him 6 months before the expiry date (though some countries have other rules, such as England). If you are a comparable team you could try to sway him through the media. By telling the media you would love to add him, or get your players to tell him to come (if they know each other). This could make him reluctant to sign a new deal with his old club and you can swoop in and sign him on a free. With lower rated teams I wouldn't bother getting in too many talents though, unless you are going to play them quite a bit. Otherwise they will probably not develop good enough with lower rated teams and their poor facilities.

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23 minutes ago, ReMeDy said:

How can I best take advantage of this? Let's say a player's contract is about to expire from another team; does the transfer fee keep getting lower as the player's contract comes close to expiring? If so, I should wait until the very last day, although I'd prefer not to have to pay a transfer fee at all, but if I wait until his contract has expired, that's probably not good either, as I imagine that opens the player to more offers.

What happens if the player's team re-signs him before his contract's expired? At that point, there's nothing much I can poach.

I think he was referring mainly to players on non-contracts. I remember nicking the top scorer in the league from Bath City quite a way into a season out of revenge in FM16.

booonie.jpg

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Thanks for all the tips guys! Going well so far (I'm still debating about whether to make it into a thread on the careers board but that depends on whether Father Christmas decides to be nice and buy me FM18 or not...). I've been using some of these tips and they've been helpful (I'm in Englands 12th tier so very amateur and the standard is, erm, not the best...) so far. Lost my captain and winger to a free transfer which was a pain and even though I was light on central midfielders, someone manage to snap up all 3 of them a week before the season started (yay...). But due to being amateur I got some pretty much like for like replacements (including a 35 year old midfielder who was released from a league or 2 above and is a bit of a utility man which at this level is always a bonus!). I got the best amateur coach/scouts/physios I could find and set them to work.

 

Any more tips would be amazing! 

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On 12/12/2017 at 06:14, ReMeDy said:

Here are my tips:


- Avoid youth players. Sell or get rid of them. You don't have the facilities to train them anyways.
- Use lots of loan players. Figure out what the rules are on loan players, then max out the count. Try to spend 0 annually for the players you get to save money.
- Speed + Stamina is huge in lower league. Focus on that.
- Prioritize rest over training. Players complain more, and it doesn't help you'll be a newbie coach alongside a limited roster of coaches who will fail to provide enough 1-on-1 attention.
- Scout current ability. Ignore potential.
- Do six to 12 friendlies in preseason. Balance vs. big teams (cash) and small teams (morale).
- Use Rigid or Disciplined form.
- Try to find players who are versatile so you can plug them in multiple positions. You won't have the luxury of a huge bench.

 

On 12/12/2017 at 09:13, XaW said:

My small tips:

  • Don't bother with talents unless they can play the current season. As soon as they are good enough they will be poached anyway and you won't get anything from it. Do try to get good players through your intakes, but don't sign players with low ability and high potential.
  • Pacey strikers and hoof the ball up. The best lower league tactical choice.
  • Don't bother with role familiarity. Pick the role you want and stats you feel match. I've played with a defender as a striker before simply because he was fast and had the best finishing in the team.
  • If your players can be poached so can others. If the other team have an excellent player who would fit in, then poach him. If he signs a new contract with his current team. Then try again! The AI does it all the time with your players so why not turn the tables on them.
  • Don't over complicate tactics. I mentioned the hoofball earlier. Remember, these are poor players, so trying to do a tiki-taka like Barcelona isn't the best idea.
  • Accept personal mistakes. Both your players and the opposition are going to make massive blunders on a regular basis. Don't be annoyed, don't rage, it happens to everyone at lower level.

Absolutely soild advice from these two posts. 

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Any style of play can work with the right players at any level, strengths and weaknesses are all relative. You won't have highly technical and intelligent players but the same can be said about the oppositions defensive and physical attributes.

I used a very fluid, short passing 4-4-1-1 (but fairly simple) tactic with Merthyr Town on FM16 and took them to the Premier League.

It should still be possible on this version, it might just be harder to achieve than using a more direct tactic with more physical players.

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59 minutes ago, Scoham said:

Any style of play can work with the right players at any level, strengths and weaknesses are all relative. You won't have highly technical and intelligent players but the same can be said about the oppositions defensive and physical attributes.

I used a very fluid, short passing 4-4-1-1 (but fairly simple) tactic with Merthyr Town on FM16 and took them to the Premier League.

It should still be possible on this version, it might just be harder to achieve than using a more direct tactic with more physical players.

Of course it is possible, but the more technically demanding your tactic is, the more personal mistakes I usually see. So I try to minimize the risk of it, by selecting a more vanilla tactic than I would with a higher tiered team.

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1 hour ago, XaW said:

Of course it is possible, but the more technically demanding your tactic is, the more personal mistakes I usually see. So I try to minimize the risk of it, by selecting a more vanilla tactic than I would with a higher tiered team.

Just pointing it out as suggesting direct tactics can be read as you must play that way in the lower leagues.

Should add I kept it fairly simple and balanced with only 4/5 team instructions and only a few player instructions.

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10 minutes ago, Scoham said:

Just pointing it out as suggesting direct tactics can be read as you must play that way in the lower leagues.

Should add I kept it fairly simple and balanced with only 4/5 team instructions and only a few player instructions.

Oh no, if my comment read as a must, then I have worded myself poorly. It was a suggestion and nothing more. And only something I have had some form of success using. There are no promises of success by using my tips, but since he asked for it I thought I'd share my experiences.

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On 12/12/2017 at 01:18, mark1985 said:

I'm playing FM16 and thinking of starting a LLM save in the English 12th tier(doing create a club). Does anyone have any tips regarding mainly:

  • Scouting
  • recruitment (players and staff)
  • Keeping hold of amateur players
  • Finance
  • other

I have some ideas myself but want to see what ideas everyone else has. I'm going to be doing to a homegrown challenge as well only signing players from the local area and those in my youth academy)

I have done a scouting video that should be handy cos I provide some strategies for LLM scouting and I have also started with Kingstonian. You can find both videos on my channel on youtube which is my description. The LLM save I am doing is following the rules of the Dafuge challenge. The LLM strategy really depends on how LLM you are, if you are in the lowest tier, you probably have to sign players on trial and try them out. And as far as Scouting is concerned you will have a strategy of just doing it at specific periods and for very specific kinds of players. This allows you to focus your resources, as far as recruitment goes for staff, it will depend on how low you go. At the lowest levels even my coaches judging PA is important for me, cos I need their assessments.   So its pretty standard fair, and I am sure you will also find loads of people who can provide advice to that effect on the forums.

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In terms of making money, the only way it can be done is by having a FA Cup run. If you can get through a few qualifying rounds you'll pocket a decent amount of prize money and perhaps even draw a league team in Round 1 that will get a decent gate. That will set you up for the whole season and if you're lucky the next one too.

I play in the seventh tier currently (started in the eighth) and haven't found keeping hold of players a problem at all - both those one semi pro contracts and those non contract. Note I'm playing on FM16.

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2 hours ago, jcp1417 said:

how do you play in the 12th tier?

Using lower league files created by boffins such as in the Editors hideaway forum. Once you go lower league, you never go back.

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