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#FM The conundrum that is player development

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Career Saves

Let’s face it we all want wonderkids right? We look for those 5 star wonders, pay 10 million for a 17 year old and hope he matures into Messi. One out of 10, maybe even out of 50 will turn into Messi. There is a lot of hard work that needs to be done and it all starts when they are young. It takes attention to detail and good planning.

There are some things that people need to do:
A. Training schedules for youth
Gotta thank Cleon for this as I didn’t even notice till he mentioned training programmes for the young. When a player is between the ages of 15-17, leave him in the U-17 squad, focus on getting him tutored by the right mentors and get him to learn the ppms you want if he needs them. The training schedule should be set up either with a focus to Fitness which will focus on his physical attributes or ball control. I prefer ball control but when at times I get a batch that has low natural fitness then I consider Fitness, tbh I usually stick with ball control. The intensity should be set to low and the individual focus areas should be set to high. You can set match training to the lowest notch on the right, which reduces match preparation and increases time they spend on their individual training. You can even set them to learn new positions. This is a great time for their development.
B. 17 years old

At this age they have to be moved to Reserves and the better players need to start playing football for the senior side. The rest if home grown go on loan.Remember to move the better ones, the ones you really want to focus on to the senior side so they get the training schedule for them.  This is the killer:
C. Planning

In order to see them improve by “leaps and bounds” which is some crazy green arrow bonanza, they MUST play a minimum of 25 games for the senior side. Thats a lotta football, and this is where it gets hard. You absolutely need to choose the right players to play. Make sure you don’t field a whole bunch of 17 year olds unless you are sure you can win the match, and thats where the final piece of the puzzle comes in.
D. Match Preparation Training
Now match preparation training does give a small temporary boost to training, and a positive result cascades into training performance. So there is a knock on effect when you win. Match preparation especially early in the season allows you to get past the initial lethargy of your team. I’ve gone on massive winning runs this way and its especially vital to the way I play9

E. All you need to do is get the balance right for 3 months.

So for 3 months after the season has started and after fitness preseason…you match prep Offensive training, Offensive set pieces, Defensive positioning and defensive set pieces. That means you need to move the match preparation slider to the second notch on the right. Its nearly perfect cos during the early part of the season, the chances of injuries are the highest. So by moving the match preparation slider to the right and having individual focus training set to heavy, their overall intensity per player is always going to be medium. If its set to one notch from the right, its heavy if I am not mistaken. Once the team settles in and they start playing better, by three months you should be able to abort match training completely and focus on individual training.

During the first few matches of the season, don’t be surprised to see a lethargic team, once they catch up in terms of match preparation, you can start playing more attacking football. I for one alway default by midseason to attacking for most sides and control for good opponents. At the start of the season I am usually control and standard.

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About BusttheNet - Rashidi (208 Articles)
Rashidi is an mod from the SI forums who began this site as a way to collate all the information and guides he's written for Football Manager over the years.

2 Comments on #FM The conundrum that is player development

  1. Hi Rashidi,

    I would like to ask regarding the match preparation. Do you have a time frame set for preparing the match prep? Eg. 2 weeks for offensive training, 2 weeks for offensive set pieces etc.. or you generally just prepare base on opponents?

    Thanks!

    • I match prep for 3 months only, preseason and the first two months. And I do equal amounts of training offensive/defensive, but from the 4th month, match prep drops to 10% and I leave it on general from then on

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