6-step approach to 5-star coaching in FM (BACKROOM STAFF GUIDE)

The 6-step approach to 5-star coaches in FM

by @guidosteve

We’ve all been there.

We fire up a new save in Football Manager and we can’t wait to sign the best wonderkids, play games and win trophies.

All the fun stuff.

And then the game comes with the dreaded “meet the backroom staff”…

… and we know it’s important but we ignore it, because it takes such a long time and we never know when we’re done.

That is, until now. Today I’ll be bringing you a step-by-step guide / checklist to quickly get done with your backroom staff and indeed, get on to the fun stuff.

And once you’ve done this it basically takes care of yourself and you never have to touch it again!

So, if you want to get it over with and get the best coaches in FM and get 5 star coaches for training like below, less and shorter injuries and find all the best youth players you should keep on reading.

Great guide for getting the best staff in Football Manager!

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FM 17: Best coaching staff

Here’s what you want to do with your staff on Day 1 in FM:

  • Step #1: Fire your Director of Football
  • Step #2: Fire deadweight coaches and hire new ones
  • Step #3: Figure out if you want to keep your assistant
  • Step #4: Figure out if you want to keep you head of youth
  • Step #5: Set up the medical team
  • Step #6: Do the same for Youth team managers
1

Fire your Director of Football (if you have one)

Ok, depending on how you play, you perhaps don’t want to fire him.

If you can answer yes to one or more of the below:

  1. Don’t want anything to do with your staff
  2. Don’t do transfers yourself
  3. Don’t want to negotiate transfers

Then you should keep your Director of Football. If not offer him mutual termination.

Basically you can use them (Directors of Football) for fulfilling all the roles that you don't want to, like collating scout reports or signing youth players or what have you, via staff responsibilities. They're a big help if you're a hands off type of manager. Source.

NickTM
Reddit user

If you follow this guide you should sack him…

2

Fire deadweight coaching staff and hire awesome coaching staff

The first thing we’re going to look at is our staff doing the training, our coaches.

To do so go to coaches tab under training and select remove all as shown below.

FM17: Remove all coaches

This will give you a nice, clean overview to work with.

The next thing to do is to go through them one by one and assign them to their best training category. This is easy to do as the black highlighted cells are their best training category.

Note: Strength and aerobic require the same skills, but the game only highlights the strength category.

FM2017: Mutual termination

In the screenshot above, I have selected the best rating for each. Also, note that I have assigned myself to shooting, where I gave myself a 5-star rating.

For a guide on creating your own manager in FM check out this article.

These ratings will naturally be better if you are coaching Manchester United compared to if you’re managing FA Cup heroes Sutton United.

So how do you judge whether or not to replace any of the training staff or add to it?

  1. The finances of your club
  2. The level of your current training staff

a) The finances of the club

When I am at a big club like Manchester United in this example, the finances of the club are really no hindrance and hiring new coaches (or scouts) will be such a small cost that it really doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, the smaller the club gets, the more the cost of staff matters.

Which brings us to point b.

b) The “minus 1-star rule”

It is obvious, that the higher the star rating of your training staff the better.

However, what is less obvious is how good your staff should be.

Relative level of your staff

What I tend to do is look at the ratings of my best coaches.

At Man Utd the best coaches have a 5-star rating

Then, what I simply do is that all coaches that is 1-star behind or worse will be fired.

FM2017: Mutual termination

In the screenshot above, I have highlighted the coaches that will be leaving the club based on this rule.

All of these have their highest rating at 4 stars, which is not good enough.

Offer mutual termination to coaches not pulling their weight

Now we have determined which coaches we will retain and who we will be letting go.

We just need to get rid of them.

Luckily, since this is still Day 1, Football Manager lets you offer mutual termination to these coaches, which is less expensive than just releasing them.

And as we are on Day 1 they will always accept this mutual termination.

If you had done this later, they would not have accepted and thus it is a sound financial decision to do this on Day 1.

Your news feed will immediately be updated where you go and confirm the mutual termination.

FM17: Mutual termination

… mine was.

And above, you can see that we need to hire one for tactics, ball control, defending, attacking and shot stopping.

See how many coaches you can hire

The first thing to do is to check how many coaches you can hire.

To see that, go to the staff tab.

FM17: Number of coaches you can hire

The five hollow persons tells us you can hire five coaches.

Remember: At Manchester United I always want to be limited by the limits my board sets, while at Sutton United, it might not be economically feasible to actually go to the coach limit.

With that little disclaimer out of the way we now go to the staff search screen.

Warning: The next paragraph becomes a bit technical

Now go to the staff search screen and do as in the screenshot below.

All coaches need determination, level of discipline and motivating (DDM going forward) and we will thus filter based on these.

In other words, these attributes are important across all training categories. In general, for a top level club these three attributes combined should be at least 45.

I will now filter out all coaches that doesn’t live up to this.

To do so I go to the staff search, add, attributes…

FM 2017: Add mental attributes

… and say that all values should be at least 12.

But hey! The mathematically inclined ones out there know that 12+12+12 is not 45, it is instead 36.

And that is indeed correct.

The reason we do so is that we cannot say that the three attributes combined should be at least 45 so we have to approximate it.

And a coach can still have a rating of 45 by having 12 in one attribute, 13 in another and 20 in the last one.

This method is not perfect as it will rule out coaches with rating of 11, 14 and 20 (also 45), but to my experience, having the cutoff at 3*12 is the most efficient.

Now, all we need to know is how to calculate the star rating of a coach. In the screenshot below we have shown the “FM coach calculator”.

FM2017: Staff ratings

Warning over: Less technical from here on

To show an example, we were looking for a tactics coach.

We have our filter for DDM on.

FM: DDM

We hit filter and sort by tactics (or any other attribute we need)

We now sort our coaches passing the DDM criteria by tactics.

First, you select the coaching attributes overview.

FM17: Select coaching attributes

… sort by tactics and head to the mental attributes overview by pressing, 1, 2 and 3.

FM17: Mental attributes

We scan the lines for one with high DDM. First I look through those with a tactics attribute of 20. If I don’t find the coach I want I scan those with 19, 18 and so forth.

FM 17: Hiring coaches

Peters has a 5-star coach rating. He has 17 in tactical coaching, 18 in determination, 20 in discipline and 19 in motivation.

Using the formula we get: 2*17 + 18+20+19 = 91. Using our chart we can see this is enough for a 5-star tactical coaching rating.

However, as we approach him we see that he does not want a coaching role.

I can also see that D. Lodewe… has high ratings across the board. He also has 17 in tactical coaching.

This yields a rating of 2*17 + 18+15+15 = 81, which gives a 4½ star rating. As I don’t see any better coaches I approach him and offer him a coaching contract.

FM 17: Hire a coach

He accepts and a few days later we now have a 4½ star tactical coach.

We replicate this for the other coaches we need and end up with this coaching team.

FM 17: Best coaching staff

Here you want your best coach within each category to only focus on that.

The highest rating for a training category will always be your star rating.

Once you’ve done this, you want to assign backup coaches across categories as I have done, to ensure the workload is light or average.

3

Figure out what to do with your assistant manager

What kind of assistant manager you want is dependent on what you want to use him for.

Here are some guidelines:

WHAT THE ASSISTANT DOES IN FOOTBALL MANAGER

Assistant reports: If you use these (which you really should use) he should have good judging player ability and judging player potential.

Handle press conferences & tunnel interviews: Professional personality and positive media handling style

In charge of team talks: Good motivating attribute

Handles training: Strong in one of the training categories (see step #2)

Another nice to have for most is a high working with youngsters ability.

I use my assistant for assistant reports and handling press conferences.

I thus first look at judging player ability and judging player potential.

FM 17: Judging player potential

As you can see, both attributes stand at 15. This is ok, but not fantastic.

Too see his personality change to the information view.

FM: Assistant manager personality

We see that his personality is very loyal (ok, but not fantastic) and his media handling style is evasive and reserved (again, ok but not fantastic).

It is thus borderline for me whether to keep him or not and it depends on my ability to find someone who is better.

  • To see that go to our good ol’ trusted staff search filters and set them at the value your assistant had
  • Check to see if you can find someone with a better personality and media style
FM2017: Assistant filters

In my case, I was not able to do that, and I thus keep Rui Faria as my assistant.

4

Figure out what to do with your head of youth development

Figuring out what to do with your head of youth development is much the same as for the assistant.

First off, I should say that if you don’t intend to stay at the club for more than 2 years, don’t even bother. This guy only affects your game long term.

If you plan to stay for some time, the head of youth will do the following:

RESPONSIBILITIES OF HEAD OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Bring new youth players into the club (your yearly intake)

Your head of youth development will most likely be responsible for the yearly youth intake.

​In order for that to be successful he needs a high rating in judging player ability.

Secondarily he should also have a positive personality (professional or model citizen). This will be reflected in your youth intake.​

Train youngsters​

He will also take part in the training of youngsters and as such he should have a high working with youngsters attribute.​

And that is basically the important parts for your head of youth development.​

My Head of Youth Development

Looking at the Manchester United Head of Youth Development, we see that it is club legend Nicky Butt.

However, club legend Nicky Butt is everything but a legendary Head of Youth Development.

FM 17: Head of youth development

As you can see, the only part he excels in is his professional personality – otherwise he’s pretty poor and I know I can find someone better.

Nicky Butt will thus be given a mutual termination, and I will instead hire this awesome dude, who knocks it out of the park in terms of all stats.

FM17: Head of youth development
5

Set up medical team

The final thing to do is set up your medical team, consisting of physios and sports scientists.

Of these, physios are the most important.

Why?

Physios work in two ways:

  1. Helps reduce the likelihood of injuries
  2. Reduce recovery times of injured players

In other words: Having good physios is win-win and really important.

There is no star rating for physios but based on my own testing I have developed a pseudo-star rating for physios.

The formula is this:

Physiotherapy*6 + Fitness*3 + DDM*2

With the same scoring technique as for coaches.

Step #1 is of course to offer mutual termination to physios not pulling their weight.

FM 17: Assess physios

We see that is the case for Garry Armer.

Next we go hire as many physios as we can. The easiest way to see how many you can hire is to look when offering someone a contract.

FM 17: Number of physios you can have

To do so, we go grab our good ol’ filters for determination, level of discipline and motivating from before (they should still be ticked).

We sort by physiotherapy and scan the line for physios with high fitness and DDM.

And voila.

We sign all the pseudo five star physios we can and make the best one head physio.

Finally, we look at our sports scientist. The only attribute that matters here is fitness.

Select coaching attributes and look at the fitness attribute.

FM 2017: Sports scientists

We see that our head of sports science is really bad and we will fire him and hire a new one. Our other sports scientist is pretty good, so we will keep him.

We will hire as many sports scientists as we can.

6

Do the same for your youth teams

By now you have a really good idea about setting up your staff.

However, there are still youth team managers and coaches that we haven’t covered yet.

But these will need the same attributes for coaching ratings as what we have already covered so you already know how to set this up.

So, go do that now, but again, unless you plan to stay at the club for more than at least 2 years, it is really not worth your time to do so.

Great guide for getting the best staff in Football Manager!

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Step-by-step staff guide in FM

  1. Fire your Director of Football (if you have one)
  2. Fire deadweight coaching staff and hire new staff
  3. Figure out what to do with your assistant
  4. Figure out what to do with your head of youth development
  5. Fine tune your medical team
  6. Go the extra mile and do the same for your reserve and youth teams

Now you try it

We hope this guide and our checklist helps you get through all the backroom stuff when joining a new club in FM 17.

It takes some extra time and effort, but once you have done it you never have to do it again (or worry about it!).

I hope you’ve liked the guide and I’ll be around to reply to comments and answer questions.

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

Steve


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