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Davish123

Youth Teams Usefulness?

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Just wondering, Is there any real reason to have good u23 & u18 teams? Obviously, they're good for storing your younger players to get playing time. But, is it actually worth signing players and making sure that youth team will do well in their league? Is there any benefit from them winning things?

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You sign good youth players to use them later in your team or eventually making money by selling them when they become decent players, nothing else. I would not invest big money, except if they have really good potential.

Edited by Tetsuro P12

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IIRC, a winning youth team actually helps development. Players tend to develop better if they're happy and playing well, and those two things go hand in hand.

Outside of winning things, it's good to maintain a squad at these levels to prevent over-playing and injuries, which hinder development. The AI will fill out a depleted squad with grey players, but these players are just bodies and won't prevent a good youth prospect being played in every game.

You don't have to put together an all-star youth squad, but keeping a squad of at least 16 players is advisable. For this reason, I actually keep low potential players around. The better youth prospects will carry the team to results, while the rest fill in the blanks. 

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I managed to get my B team promoted to Spanish second level. I benefit of that because my young players get play time on a fairly high level without having to loan them out. 

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3 hours ago, GianniM said:

I managed to get my B team promoted to Spanish second level. I benefit of that because my young players get play time on a fairly high level without having to loan them out. 

What's the point? Why paying their wage when other team will be more than happy to?

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Yes they are useful. You have control of the player development, position they play, role and duty as well as the individual training. With a high standard of facilities and coaches, then you wil generate a 'stock' of useful players for yourself. The matches themselves help kkep fitness levels up for the youth team players. I always have the 'Arrange friendly if no match during the week' option selected, and the u18s has a 22-player squad (2 per position) the u23s the same (plus a couple of first-teamers who need fitness).

Keeping them at your facility will help them develop into players that fit your tactic, YOU can train them in the positions you use, focused on the attributes you value.

Loaning them out DOES save you a bit on the wage bill, but you are essentially handing over the development of the player to someone else, who wants a slightly different player to fir their tactic. You can stipulate a position, role and duty in the loan agreement, but that's no guarantee he will be used that way and you are stuck with it until the next transfer window. He may also be training in lower facilities, with less effective coaches. However, the benefits are  that he is getting exposure to an appropriate level of football played in a highly competitive environment. (90mins in a FA Youth Cup match is nowhere near the as good as 90mins in an ACTUAL FA Cup match)


There is a big financial commitment to having a youth structure at your club as well though. You have to decide whether it is worth the investment in the first place. My own approach, if I am at a level where the u23s or u18s are expected to play fixtures then I will develop the two squads, if I don;t have to have them, I may not.

So, are the youth teams useful? Yes they are.  For developing young players, keeping everyone fit and building the club DNA. 

Loans are very good for the right player, but a 20 yr old spending a season playing as a Poacher at Morecambe isn't going to easily slot into your tactic that needs a DLF at Leeds - even if you have saved a couple of hundred pounds a week.

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