I’m putting a huge focus behind developing young players on FM21.
I’ve spoken before about improving the abilities of young players, playing them in my first team and selling them on. While that could be taken as me doing a solely homegrown save, where I’m only allowed to play my own youth products without signing any new players, I’ve never once said that. It probably is the overall aim for the save, one day it might well be the case.
One thing I did say in my introductory blog post was that I was looking to make Oslo, and Vålerenga, the destination for promising young players to come and hone their skills. This means I’ve been recruiting and developing some of Norway’s most promising talent. We’ve been acting like the big team that we should have been, and now are. Here’s the approach I’ve taken to doing that.
A news article appeared online over the festive period that outlined FC Midtjylland’s aim of developing a Ballon d’Or winning talent by 2030. FCM aren’t strangers of setting out lofty aims for themselves but this one certainly caught the attention of many.
This post first appeared in Issue Two of Latte Quarterly, a quarterly Football Manager e-magazine created by FMGrasshopper, AccordingtoFM, FMAdventure and myself. I’d thoroughly recommend you download all available issues and dive in for a read.
“How do I want my team to play?”
It’s probably the most important question us Football Managers will ask ourselves. Some find it difficult to answer. We want to set out to win matches obviously but it’s getting to that point that is often tricky. Tactics are obviously vital, the quality of the players slotting in to each of those roles in the tactic are equally as important. What about the work on the training pitch?
FM19 being released was accompanied by massive changes to training. It had been often suggested, hugely debated and highly anticipated. Gone was the handful of options available for us to pick that we’d have to have on for at least three months for them to make an impact on player development but that we’d do once and just leave for the entirety of our saves. In their place came a whole host of options to pick and the ability to slot them into three sessions per day, rather than for the entire week as before.
For the last four or five seasons now I’ve taken you through a whole host of newgens coming into the club for relative peanuts, and for the last two seasons or so, you’ve seen some of them start to leave as our bank account reaps the benefits. Last season we brought £52m in to the club coffers from selling players, in season twelve we’ve absolutely smashed through that and then some.
From the first couple of seasons focusing on whoever we could get in on a free, to expanding our potential player pool to include the rest of the UK and Ireland to the last couple of seasons being able to attract some really promising young foreign talent, my approach has changed so much over the last twelve seasons. I’ll use the transfers that’ve happened, both incoming and outgoing, this season to go through how Stirling’s circle of transfers currently works. Let’s get to it.
Over the last couple of editions of Football Manager there’s been talk across the FM Twittersphere of the game becoming more like Morale Manager. In my opinion, SI have got this pretty spot on. FM reflects the IRL football world with players not getting on with you or each other, complaining about training or about not playing enough, requesting a transfer and more.
I’m going to take you through some of my ways of managing morale across my players in this piece. These are ways I’ve found work for me, they might work for you too or you might have completely different ways of approaching it and still get results and win trophies galore. That is the beauty of this game we all know and love.
The addition of the medical centre for FM18 was called out as one of SI’s crowning new features. It’s a feature that I hadn’t seen many people requesting, it’s one we’ve managed to live without so far up to this point and personally, it’s one I think can still be lived without. Have a read of how I’m managing injury prevention on FM18 without clicking into the medical centre.
As I pointed out in my intro post, alongside scouting, development is to be one of the key pillars of my time at RBL. Translating this onto FM, this means training.
My under 24 years of age signing policy means that the vast majority of players I have on the RBL books will be promising ones that can still be developed and nurtured. Here’s my thoughts on how I’ll be interpreting things in-game.
Before I do that, I just wanted this awesome header for the save, that James @FMPressure has created for me, to make its debut. James also wrote a great piece on his own approach to training, so if you haven’t already, give that a read once you’re done here!
Scouting is one of the three main aspects that I’ll be focusing on in my RBLeipzig save that I called out in my initial plan for FM17. Since the appearance of Moneyball style saves on Football Manager, scouring the globe for talent has become even more important than before. My RBLeipzig save isn’t a traditional Moneyball one, however I will be imposing their non-FM world restriction on aiming to bring in players under 24 years of age and looking to develop, and sell on talent within reason. The final two points there are things I’ll address in another post, but for today, here’s my approach to scouting on FM17 with RBLeipzig.
I’ve now reached the 2020/21 season in my Morton save, and if you missed my last post, here’s a little reminder.
I felt that going into my 6th season at the club, and having established ourselves at the top end of Scottish football, it was time to put together some aims and targets for the remainder of the save. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read that post yet, the fourth, and final, aim outlined was to answer the question, ‘What makes a Morton player?’ I also completely copped out by not answering it within the last post, but to be fair, who’s ever complained about an extra post to read!
Read on if you’re interested in my thought process for coming up with an answer for the question, ‘What makes a Morton player?’