Guide: The 5 ways to improve and optimize youth intake in Football Manager

by @guidosteve

Youth intake day in FM. We all look forward to it and are excited about what wonderkid we will get this year…

… only to be left with a bunch of second grade players that’ll never make your team.

In the guide today, we will show you the 5-step method to optimizing youth intake so you’ll get more wonderkids and less players who… well, really shouldn’t be playing football.

1

Hiring the best possible Head of Youth Development

The first thing to do is hire a great Head of Youth Development.

This will immediately improve your youth intake and doesn’t really cost that much.

Most people look for the attributes first, but the single most important thing for your Head of Youth Development is to have a positive personality.

So to re-iterate:

Your Head of Youth Development should have a personality that is one of:

· Professional (or model professional)

· Model citizen

· Perfectionist

And why is that?

The reason is very simple. Your Head of Youth Development will sign players with a personality to match his own. Players with these personalities are much better at reaching their potential.

Think about it like this:

Nicklas Bendtner probably has more pure footballing potential than James Milner.

However, Nicklas Bendtner is basically as far from a model professional you can come. On the other hand, James Milner keeps his head down, works hard and has had a pretty good career.

This is extremely important and I will happily sacrifice attribute points (which is coming up next) for a model professional as Head of Youth Development.

THE THREE ATTRIBUTES TO LOOK FOR

Working with youngsters: A high rating will make the young player develop faster

Juding potential player ability: A higher rating will ensure your youth intake has a higher potential ability.

Judging player ability: Far less important, but the higher the rating the higher the starting level of the young players will be.

In the screenshot, I’ve shown a really good Head of Youth Development. He is professional and has high ratings in all the important attributes.

Football Manager: Head of youth development

BONUS TIP

Want to go even greater detail? Find a Head of Youth Development who likes to play in the same style as you do.

This will ensure the players are suited to your system.

How to easily find the best Head of Youth Development

Now that you know what to look for, I’ll show you how to easily do it.

First off, go to your staff screen as shown below.

Football Manager: Staff search

Now what you want to do is to create a custom filter so you can see all the important attributes.

To do so follow the screenshot below, by pressing the 1, 2, 3 sequence.

Football Manager: Custom filters

What you want to do is replicate what is below to the right by adding and removing the appropriate fields.

Football Manager: Custom filters

Click “Judge P” to sort by judging player potential. This will bring up the following view.

Football Manager: Head of Youth Development

As you can see, both Liam Brady and Tony Carr will make very good Head of Youth Development. These are both professional and have 18 in judging player potential.

Of the two, I would go for Tony Carr as he has a higher Youth (working with youngsters) rating.

In addition, both have high attributes in judging player ability which ensures players join at a good level.

2

Maximizing the chance of getting high potential players

The second most important step is optimizing your youth scouting network.

To see what level it as it now go to the facilities screen.

Football Manager: Youth recruitment

The better your youth recruitment is, the higher the potential of the players will be.

However, this is not in the 1-20 attribute scale that FM normally uses.

So how do you figure out if it can be improved?

Luckily, it’s quite easy.

To do so, go to the board, select make board request, go to networking and see if the improve youth recruitment option is there.

Football Manager: Youth recruitment range

If it is, you can make your recruitment better and if it isn’t, you’re already at the top level.

So, if the option is there, ask the board to improve your youth recruitment.

So now we get high potential youth. The next step is to make sure they are good.

3

Improving the current level of your youth intake

I’ve been guilty of thinking: “I do not care what level my youth intake is at now, I want to know how good they can become”.

And yes, what is important is how good they can become…

… but how quickly they become good is also quite important.

If your youth has potential like Messi but are hopeless when they are brought in to your club it will take years longer to develop them, and there is a very real risk, that they simply never reach their potential.

And that’s exactly why, you should maximize junior coaching.

Luckily, SI has made it easy for us and to check if you can improve it, you do exactly the same as in step 2, when looking for youth recruitment.

The only difference now, is that you go look for the option increase junior coaching budget as shown below.

Football Manager: Junior coaching

Now we have all the ingredients that go into determining the type and level of youth intake you will get…

… but without the proper backroom staff and training facilities they will go nowhere.

4

Having the right backroom staff for quick development

You want to ensure that your youth develops quickly so you can get them into the first team faster.

To do so, you should have the best possible backroom staff.

We’ve already written a Guide to Backroom Staff, so I’ll encourage you to go read that.

5

State-of-the-art youth facilities

The final thing to help the development of your young players is the youth facilities.

Again, we are lucky as it’s just as easy as in step #2 and step #3 to see if you can improve it.

This time, what we are looking for is the option to improve youth facilities, as shown below.

Football Manager: Youth facilities

And that’s it. We’ve now done everything we can to ensure we have the best possible youth setup to carry the team forward.

So, to sum up:

How to have the best possible youth intake in Football Manager

· Have the best possible Head of Youth Development

· Maximizing player potential through an extensive Youth Recruitment network

· Ensure high player ability through Junior Coaching

· Train players faster by having a solid backroom staff

· Have State-of-the-art Youth Facilities

A quick note on factors outside of your control

You now know how to optimize your youth intake, but there are still a couple of factors outside of your control.

Reputation of your club: If you progress through leagues, this will increase, however, it is something that takes a long time. Even if they had the same facilities, Bayern Munich would still get better youth than 1860 Munich.

The country you’re in: The country you’re in decides the level of players produced by that country. In the game this is called the youth rating of a country. This is static at the start of the game and cannot be changed. In the game, Brazil will on average create the best newgens.

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Now you go do it

So, what do you think about our guide to youth intake in FM?

Or maybe you have a question about how to do it.

Either way, leave a comment quick below.

I’ll be around to reply to comments and answer questions.

So, if you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.

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