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proudlock

Youth player development dilemma

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Ok, so I have a big prospect in my youth team who has just turned 17 in the game.  He came through in one of my youth intakes and has developed very nicely into the youth team to the point where he is now better than my current back up right winger.

So my question is, if this was your player what would you do - would you leave him in the youth team where he has already developed well for one more season until he turns 18 or would you chuck him into the first team at this point and give him a decent amount of first team football as back up player?

The official line suggests training is more important than game time when for players under 18 but would using him in the first team and having him train with first team players actually hinder his development?

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Could you leave him in the youth team but bring him up for the odd less important game? So he'll still get the benefit of youth training with a few games throughout the season

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ryandormer said:

Could you leave him in the youth team but bring him up for the odd less important game? So he'll still get the benefit of youth training with a few games throughout the season

Ah yeah cheers, quite a simple solution - didn't think of that!

Edited by proudlock

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3 hours ago, proudlock said:

or would you chuck him into the first team at this point and give him a decent amount of first team football as back up player?

This.

If he's already better than your back up winger he's a prime candidate for putting into the senior squad with an appropriate mentoring group there (if he needs mentoring that is) and give him a few starts / substitute appearances.  You can always assign him to play in Reserve team matches as well if he doesn't get any playing time during a first team match.

Yes training is more important for under the age of 18 but that's doesn't mean game time at an appropriate level is not important.  Plus if you keep switching him between squads you may upset him.

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If I get any five star potential regens with CA high enough for at least the league below I tend to chuck them straight in the first team squad. My youngest player in the squad is nearly always a 15/16 year old haha. 

I get no problems. They don't develop from it as fast as they did a few versions ago but they still benefit from "playing at a higher level" particularly if they're performing fairly well and keeping their moral up. 

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I would stick him into my first team rotation as a backup. So he covers injuries, makes sub appearances in the odd game to rest the rotation players, and plays in unimportant cup competitions as a starter. Assuming I had a cup cup run, he should get 4 or 5 starts, at least, plus whatever sub time over the course of the season. When I played weaker teams in the league I would have him on the bench to rest a first team rotation player. The rest of the time he would not feature and I would just make him available to play in the reserves to get some game time. I would also keep an eye on his training to get the most from him as I can.

I would also reassess when he reached 18. If there was a space for him in my team as a rotation option playing a good number of games, I would keep him. If not, I would look at the possibility at getting him a good loan move and assess the situation again the following year.

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Thanks for all the replies on this.  I ended up selling my back up right winger, and promoted my youth prospect to be the back up.  First choice ended up at the Olympics and then got injured shortly after coming back so I have given the youth guy quite a few starts already.  He has done pretty well so far, and is often my top trainer of the week too, so its looking good.

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If they are better then my surrent squad I play them. I had 2 DMC, 1 AMC and right FB that I all started playing with 17 yo. It happens more often in not so strong leagues where you're players get snatched by big clubs but you have good youth academy.

On 14/05/2019 at 17:52, herne79 said:

Yes training is more important for under the age of 18 but that's doesn't mean game time at an appropriate level is not important. 

Is training in youth team that much better? I mean, they train in the first team also + they get expirience at higher level.

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1 hour ago, yolixeya said:

Is training in youth team that much better? I mean, they train in the first team also + they get expirience at higher level.

It depends on the players and the quality of your coaches.  You will occasionally get a stand out 16/17 year old who may be better off in the senior squad but in general it can be an idea to leave youngsters in the youth team for at least their first year so that you can properly assess them.  Of course if your youth coaches are pants it may be better to move at least the brightest prospects sooner rather than later.  Remember the game is designed to try to mirror what real life clubs do and real life clubs tend to use their youth teams - it's only really us FMers who try to shortcut things.

Re. the "experience at higher level" you mention.  As @Seb Wassell always said, you're looking for the "goldilocks" point: matches too far below or too far above a player's ability isn't usually ideal for development - you're looking for the "just right" match experience.

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3 minutes ago, herne79 said:

Re. the "experience at higher level" you mention.  As @Seb Wassell always said, you're looking for the "goldilocks" point: matches too far below or too far above a player's ability isn't usually ideal for development - you're looking for the "just right" match experience.

I understand that. He wouldn't get good ratings if I would push him too far above his ability. I think my HOYD does a great job there. He usually recommends me players that are ready for the first team if there is a opening. Those 17 yo that I talked about had a CA of a 2,5 - 3 stars for my first team so there was no downside of promoting them other that I tend to have coaches with higher working with youngsters attribute, in the youth team.

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Also, keep in mind that he might not get as much training in the first team as he would when he's in the u19. If you're qualified for Europe and/or go far in the cups, your training schedule will be less heavy because of all the travels and rest.

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