Football Management is not always about buying the best players, it can also be about identifying and developing the potential of young players for the future of your squad, building a good under 18′s and young reserve side could see benefits in the transfer balance as well as for winning games. Look at the traditional big four and you will see in the squad a spine of home grown players who symbolise the power house and culture of those sides and are a connection with the fans. But on Football Manager 2010 what techniques are available to you in order to develop a good young side?
1. Do your scouting
You should always have a scout in your ranks that has a high attribute for spotting potential, scouting is the best way to find the best players within your game. Scout reserves leagues, under 18 leagues in different countries and the youth international competitions. This will ensure that your scout gets to look at some of the best and brightest around the world on a regular basis, keeping you on informed on new players to stock your own youth side.
2. Improve your academy facilities and coaches
It might be a bit of an obviously one but it does count on the quality and quantity of young players that you get through into the side. If you are a side with little to spend, in the lower reaches of the league structure, producing your own talent could be a real winner, for the squad as well as the bank balance as you look to cash in on investments made. But one thing that you may have not considered is that your young intake can also be affected by your coaches and youth coaches the working with youngsters attribute, although I haven’t tested this one thoroughly.
3. Loaning your players out
When I am looking at feeder sides for my teams I tend to look for clubs that have a quality training ground and coaches, doing the same when I am sorting loan approaches for my young players. This means that when the players are away from my own side that they are indeed getting trained as best as possible, you may even get lucky and find partners that have better training grounds then yourself. But this along with the potential of having your players gain competitive experience can be valuable in improving your players development and reaching their full potential.
4. Slowly bring them into your own side
It works for Arsenal, why shouldn’t it work for yourself? Give the players first team experience in your own side, either in those cup competitions that you don’t choose to take so seriously or as a means to punish another players poor performances by putting his place up for grabs to youngsters. It has really helped me when I have been in times of need that those players with high determination especially young players can really get you through times of trouble. But more importantly you will notice that those players that do have the highest amount of potential will be more likely to reach that potential with high work rates and determinations and the experience will help them develop quicker.
5. Tutoring, Training and Conditioning
Don’t forget the conventional training regimes, but one way to mold your players for the future is to use the TTC method. Firstly tutoring and training are good ways to teach your players preferred moves, these moves can be useful in making tactics work in a particular way or to have a player do more of what you want him to do, maybe cutting inside or Hugging the touchline? Depending on your tactics demand, young players will be more able to adapt and learn then older players so this could be a good way to help mold players, also with positioning training you will make sure you are fully stocked on versatile players for the future. When I say conditioning, what I truly mean is going into the managers options and ensuring that the tactics used for the first team will be used also for other sides within the squad. Although do be aware that tactics should be utilised to around the players within the system, but this could work out useful in allowing an easier transition from the youth side to the full squad.
Have I missed any?
Feel free to add your own tips of training young players, as well as any comments you have about those above. Follow the conversation on twitter @fmpundit