The FM19 training guide, finally. It took quite a while to write this up and a fair amount of medication as well. And, with the valuable input from Seb Wassell from Sports Interactive, we finally got one training guide. Cleon Hobson had a part to play with this too, helping put this together. And I am just happy to get this out. I wanted to add more and I will in the next few weeks. This has an expanded section on individual workloads as well, and I will be sharing schedules where I achieve tactical familiarity in the shortest time possible. Seb helped us clarify a lot of things and he was huge.
Training and Tactics are now inextricably linked
Training now influences now well your team plays with your tactic. Training schedules can influence players tactical familiarity with tactical systems, and you primary tactic will define the tactical identity of the club which in turn helps to determine the type of training to plan.
So if you were to adopt a tactical style that is “Tiki Taka” while nothing will stop you from adopting a balanced approach to train, a more focused one that works on attributes that help execute your Tiki Taka style may give you higher dividends. Naturally the latter is more time consuming and takes a fair bit of planning.
FM19 provides managers with a more organic approach to training where they decide the focus of training during the course of a week.
Each day is divided into 3 training times. Session 1, Session 2, and Extra Session. And there are 7 days in a week, which give you a maximum of 21 training sessions. As a manager you are free to leave training in the hands of your assistant manager, or you can create a specific one for your team. These are some of the constraints you will work under should you opt to take the latter route:
- Each session has a maximum number of times it can be applied to a single week of training.
- This maximum for most sessions is 7.
- The exceptions to this are: Match Practice, Recovery, Match Preview , Match Review, Rest , Penalty Taking, Community Outreach, Team Bonding.
- Match Preview and Match Review can only be selected on days adjacent to a match.
- Every session is made up of “Items”. These are: Attributes, Tactical Familiarities and Match Effect (“Upcoming Match”). Extra-Curricular also impacts fan confidence and morale.
- The Impact of each session depends on what that session entails: Injuries, Condition, Fatigue (Jadedness), Sharpness, Cohesion (Blend) and Happiness.
- These can then be combined into whole day or whole schedule values.
- “Intensity” = Condition + Injuries.
- All matches fill the Session 2 slot, no matter the time of day. Realistically the entire day is given over to the match.
- When creating your own Schedule, only S2 can contain a Match.
- Every default match day, that being those included in the templates or when initially added to a custom schedule, has the following sessions around it:
- Everything but the S1 and ES Rest (or Travel) sessions are editable, but I would not recommend losing Recovery or Match Preview – this contains the Pre-Match Tactical Briefing.
- S1 the day before has no rule, it varies based on template.
- If the match is away from home, these Rest sessions may become Travel. See Travel Rules for more.
- Travel will occur if the match is away from home and the distance between the stadiums is more than 15 miles.
- There are two types of travel, Short and Long.
- Short means travel during S1 and ES either side of the match on match day.
- Long means travel during S2 the day before the match and S1 the day after the match.
- When travel occurs in a slot that previously had something other than Rest – which should only occur in pre-season or custom schedules as all other templates are built to accommodate – the session will be replaced.
- By default, all template schedules have a 0, 1 and 2 match version. These are obviously applied as appropriate. Match Practice also occurs on these days when applicable.
- By default the match days in all template schedules are Saturday (1) and Tuesday (2).
- If a match occurs on a day outside of these, or is moved, the following occurs:
- Match day and all required surrounding sessions, see Match Rules, are moved to appropriate day.
- The day that was previously here is shifted along in the week.
- The subsequent days are also shifted, filling the previous match day and making room for the new match day whilst maintaining the style of the schedule.
- If there are three or more matches in a week we use a special Fixture Congestion schedule.
There is an overall training load that is the cumulative effect of the physical activities of a player during a specific period of time. Throughout the training process you are trying to balance overall training load, with individual focus, match appearances and training intensity. You medical team will warn you if you are pushing a player too far, and you will be informed of his training levels.
You can increase the intensity of training by either adjusting the schedules and adding more intensive ones so that the Daily training intensity breaches 100&. When this happens for example you will see the risk to injury, fatigue and condition go up.
Please bear in mind that while its good to have 3 tactics or more. Adding more secondary tactics means that your team may take longer to achieve full tactical familiarity with all systems.
A squad is divided into 3 units for training purposes. These include
Attacking Unit and Defensive Unit, collectively known as Outfield. Goalkeeping Unit. When set pieces are trained the set piece takers are set in tactics and form their own temporary unit.
As a manager you will decide who will belong to which unit for training development purposes. Where a training session specifically targets attribute development for one unit only, then the other could spend time training working on developing attributes that focus on their specific roles. The unit which is the primary focus of a session will see the biggest impact.
For example: In the Ground Defence training session, the defensive unit focuses on working and developing their attributes, whilst the attacking and goal keeping units focus on developing their individual roles. In this example, the defensive unit’s development is focused on a specific set of attributes whilst the impact on the rest of the players is less and focused on developing attributes for their roles.
In the Attacking WIngs session, the Attacking unit attacks the Defensive Unit. The Attacking Unit is the focus of the session so it receives the largest portion of attention from coaches.
It is important to understand how Units are set up when you want to develop your own training session as this could impact development.
Here there are several strategies one can use once you understand how you can divide your squad into Units. I will give two examples.
You opt not to assign specific roles, instead leaving them on a generic role like a central midfielder for example. When you divide the team up you do not assign specific roles instead letting the game assign attribute development based on the roles the players have been using in their games.
While this can work its general and does not really create a tactical identity for the club.
Role Based Strategy
Here you go through each player and set their roles up with a goal of seeing them become better within an overall tactical framework. This approach also includes specific focuses to strengthen weak areas of a players game.
Here you are creating a specific identity of a team, however the tactical identity of the team can be refined further if you understand the styles you are trying to achieve. This is where the linkage between tactics and training kicks in.
There are various training strategies you can employ and the game comes preloaded with a set of tactics styles to help you get started. Assuming you wanted to adopt a Tiki Taka tactical style, when you go to schedules and want to create a training schedule specific for that style of play, there are already presets that focus on attribute development along that line.
More advanced users can easily adapt these styles to their own needs or create tactical style from scratch and then develop training strategies specifically geared for them. This is a powerful specialisation approach. However to pull it off well, one needs to understand the constraints you work under.
To keep track of a players training performance, each player is assigned a rating between 1-10. This rating takes their performances over a 7 day period. Generally any value higher than 6 is considered acceptable. Ideal values are between 7-10.
Each player can be assigned a position to be trained in and this will determine which attributes are developed, you can also assign extra individual training and control the intensity a player should train at. This is called Individual Focus Training.
INDIVIDUAL FOCUS TRAINING
Individual focus training is used to supplement General Training. It’s like asking a player to stay back from Team Training to work on specific areas. These include 3 broad areas : Injury Rehab, Set Pieces and Attributes
The Training Intensity Level of the whole team can be set under the Rest tab for training. Here you can automate the intensity based on the physical condition of players.
When a player has an individual training workload of Medium, he can usually do additional focus training, player trait development or have his training intensity increased. A more professional personality is more likely to get on well with extra training.
Prior to the new training module, you could min/max a players attributes by specifically training them through individual focus. A players heading for example could be improved simply by choosing the additional focus heading.
Discussions with clubs and coaches convinced SI developers that this was unrealistic. In reality a player achieves increases in skills in these areas by a combination of training schedules. So if a player needed to improve his heading for example, he would need to work in a team that trains in a specific way for example that improved positioning, heading and anticipation. This affects quite a few attributes. Some attributes have now been grouped together eg. Final Third. And, others can only be improved if you train players either in untis or aas a team. So where you fail to see a specific attribute for improvement, you will find it under a specific training session.
Example: Improve a defender’s heading
If you want to improve a players heading for example, you would opt to use a combination of schedules to achieve these including:
- General Training eg. Defending
- Specific Training eg. Aerial Defence
You will need to design a specific training schedule that incorporates these and other schedules that can help with heading. All you need to do is to find the schedules that include heading as an attribute.
TRAINING A NEW POSITION
If you want to train a player in a new position you will need to choose the appropriate position and train him there. He will also need to play in that position with the team
There are generally four types of training that focus development over various areas.
GENERAL TRAINING– schedules that cover broad areas of development including but not limited to a broad range of attributes and tactical familiarity
Example schedules: Overall, Outfield, Physical, Attacking, Defending, Tactical
UNIT TRAINING– schedules that split the squad into Units to work on various aspects of play, covers more specific attribute development that may include tactical familiarity
Example schedules: Defensive Shape, Attacking Movement
SPECIFIC TRAINING – schedules that do not include tactical familiarity in their attribute development but the most specific attribute work.
Example schedules: Set Piece Penalties
CONDITION TRAINING– schedules that do not have attribute development as a focus, instead focusing on Injury Condition, Fatigue Condition, Sharpness Condition. Team Cohesion, Happiness.
Example session : Recovery session affects Injury risk, condition, fatigue, sharpness, happiness and team cohesion
When you choose any training session, you need to check how training will affect them. This is easily found by drilling down to any training session. Assuming we want to designate one session to Goalkeeper>Handling Training, different players will be impacted in different ways
PREPARING YOUR SQUAD
There are going to be some steps you will need to take in an organised manner to make this as smooth as possible.
When you take over your squad or at the start of every season:
- Identify 22 players for your main squad and decide on your tactical system
- Identify 4-6 players from your U19 team and promote them to the first team
- Based on your tactical system decide who should be in the Attacking Unit and Defending Units
- Plan who your set piece takers will be
- Create Mentoring Groups led by a Team Leader with the right personaltiy and add no more than 3 players per leader.
- In case you are unsure, hire an Ass Man with good tactical knowledge and/or good technical training in tactics/defending or tactics/attacking. Have this ass man assign groups
To get the best out of training you will probably need to do several things. We begin first with Mentoring. It’s still an important facet of training since it affects personality. Good personality traits still influence how a player will develop so as far as possible you want players who are a good influence to work with other players.
If you are looking for a direct tutor/tutee relationship in the game to transfer personality traits, it does not exist anymore. Now players work in groups to infuence each other. There is only form of direct relationship that can help transfer some good personality traits and that is the “Welcome to Club” feature for newly signed players. There is a chance that the leader rubs off on the recruit.
How does it work?
We begin with the simple steps and then go into it in a bit more detail.
Broadly there are two specific ways a player can be mentored:
- Through the new mentoring system
- “Welcome to the Club” feature where a senior player welcomes a younger recruit
Both can have a chance of influencing personality and trait development in players
Players need to be in the same squad
This is the most important factor, since mentoring now works in groups. This means that if you want to influence the personality of your U19s you need to move them into the main squad so they train with the senior team. So when you begin your save you will need to decide which potential youth players should be moved to the senior squad. Be careful about moving too many as this will increase the coaching load and reduce the quality.
Once you have moved them into the main squad you need to consider whether they are good enough to play. If they are, then you will rotate them across the season to give them game time. Otherwise, you can make them available for the U19 team.
Mentoring a personality change
To mentor a personality change you need to understand that this can work for any player, regardless of age. You need to place the targeted players for mentoring into a group with at least one player who is an influencer. Be careful of the group size, if its too large it can negatively impact the influencer.
How do you choose the influencer?
Players need to be training together to mentor one another,as well as spending time together off the training pitch. This means the players need to be in the same squad. You can no longer have a first team player, mentor an U18 player unless they are in the same squad. So you’d either have to demote the senior player or promote the younger player in order to create a unit they both can participate in.
When trying to influence the players the game looks at the following things;
● Age of the potential influenced player
● Career first team appearances of the potential influenced player
● Difference in the club hierarchy between the two players
● Social group standing between the two players (i.e how compatible they are)
Personally and this is my opinion (Daljit), I have noticed certain patterns:
1. You want the influencer to have a SIGNIFICANT influence on the group
2. You want them to be in the same social group ideally or one tier lower
3. If they are playing in the same position, then this could make mentoring easier
I find that these in general help mentoring be more successful.
FM19 is trying to make the game more realistic and less gamey. To get the best out of player development, you will need to look at several modulels in conjunction now. so when you want to work with the Mentoring module, you will frequently need to check the Dynamics module which can change over time as players start building bonds at the club. Now if there are people out there who cite actual raw numbers then its going to be very unrealistic. Mentoring can take between 6 months and an unspecified amount of time. The best bet is 6 months, but in some cases the mentoring time can be very long. Asking for specific values will not work as SI are not revealing those numbers.
While the old tutoring system was basically a numbers game, FM19’s mentoring system is meant to be more organic
There isn’t a specific age limit on mentoring. Age works in the same way as the other factors, they will impact how likely the player is to be influenced at that time.
If a player fills the criteria above, the more likely the influenced player is to have their personality slewed towards that of the mentoring player. If the player who is being mentored doesn’t fulfill any of the criteria at all, then there’s no chance of a personality adjustment occurring. If there is a chance of a personality adjustment occurring then this chance is further boosted if they’re in the same mentoring group and training unit.
Players can still be influenced by the team personality and by the personality of others in their social groups, just like on Football Manager 2018. You should take a look at the social groups and see which players are in the groups as you could find them being influenced positively or negatively by different personalities. It’s unlikely your captain is going to be dragged down by other players at the club, but it’s not impossible if the combination of scoring factors suggested the captain should be influenced by others.
Also new in Football Manager 2019 is the ‘Welcome to club’ function also now serves as a way of setting a piece of short term one-on-one mentoring between a new signing and an established player.
CREATING WELL THOUGHT OUT SCHEDULES
The goal of any manager is to combine training schedules that give the squad the best. Many of the tactical presets come with their own training schedules. If you are keen to begin to make your own, understanding how they have been set up is a good way to start. Here are some insights on certain facets of training that one could easily overlook.
FM19 sees some big changes in training. For example when you go to the Training panel and click “Edit Coach Assignments” on the right, you will find that coaches now work differently.
Changes in training now offer managers more options for getting the squad ready. To give you a few examples. With Focused training you can as a newly promoted side elect to focus on Set Piece Training. You can also choose to do different kinds of schedules as match preparation for an upcoming game.
You can also choose to get specific players working on set piece delivery.
Another option is to focus on physical development. Here you can choose to get a side to focus on Physical training and you can also direct individual players to add additional focus training to Set Pieces or Attributes. As you can probably surmise, training can now be more organically set up so that you can develop your side the way you want them to play.
Here are a few recommendations for a specific style of football:
Physical Based Training – Can be used by a newly promoted side that wants to focus scoring goals from counter attacks and set pieces
|Tue||Attacking Direct||Aerial Defence||Attacking Corners|
|Fri||Overall||Shot Stopping||Aerial Defence|
This is a physically intense training session that focuses a team on developing physical attributes. It also incorporates schedules that prepare a team to attack and defend corners as well as improve set piece delivery. The last two days are rest day.
Each week’s training session creates a chance for changes to :
- Injury Risk
- Physical condition
- Match Sharpness
- Team Cohesion
- Upcming Match Boosts
- Tactical Familiarity
One can set up training schedules for preseason, weeks where we are playing one match per week or weeks where we are playing two matches per week. We can also create unique plans for specific opponents. You could for example prepare for a cup final match by focusing squarely on set piece training in the last week before a final.
Training schedules work to prepare a side with attribute development, squad cohesion or even match preparation. Previous editions of FM had a separate match preparation slider. FM19 sees a more dynamic match preparation where we can specifically assign our tam to work on targeted areas for games.
COACHES AND TRAINING
Coaches can be assigned to different training categories. The key thing to note here is that the quality of training is affected by the attributes of the coach and workload. If the coaches workload is too heavy, the quality drops. If his attributes are low then the quality he offers is low. The difference between 4* and 5* is actually quite minimal, but it will give you that marginal gain that could make the difference.
What you want to be doing is balancing their workloads and ensuring you pick the right coaches with the right star ratings. Most categories have a primary and a secondary attribute that we need to meet in order for them to have high star ratings. These can change from time to time, so what you want are coaches that fulfil either Technical, Mental or Tactical in the secondary attributes. For example if I wanted a coach to handle ball control I would look for Technical and Mental as attributes.
A significant change to goal keeper training was made in FM18 which could affect the way your sweeper keepers play and this is caused by the inclusion of a new training attribute for coaches – GK Distribution. Basically this calls for coaches to work with keepers so that they can distribute the ball more effectively. Keepers who have good vision are going to benefit and they may also start attacking moves from their distribution of the ball.
Coaching Categories and Attribute
In addition to these, Determination, Level of Discipline and Motivation affect the quality of their star rating. For youth training I usually include Man Management and Working with Youngsters
When you look at the coaching attributes and you co-relate them to the training schedules, you will realise that certain coaches work on improving specific attributes within their specialisation. So it’s always a good idea to find the right coaches for specific training goals that you are aiming to achieve. For example if you wanted to focus on developing first touch in your team as a priority, then you need to find the training sessions that cover that and you also need to employ the right Possession/Technical coach for the job.
The quality of training is also affected by your facilities. You need to continually develop your facilities over time to give your players the best kind of training possible. And don’t forget the cost of this increase over time. The more you improve them, the higher the cost of running the training facility becomes. You should also look to hire coaches who fit your style of play, however to be honest, this is the lowest on my priority list.
A hands-on manager is able to tailor training precisely to their squad and philosophy. If you want to control training then you’d stay incontrol of it yourself. But if you want to hand the training responsibilities over to the assistant manager, then they’re more than of using well balanced schedules.
The assistant selects schedules based on:
- ● His attributes, preferences and tendencies – for example, Hardness of Training, Attacking, Tactical, etc.
- ● Time of season
- ● Type of club
- ● Players
- ● Tactics
If you are giving control of training to the assistant manager, then it’s worth while hiring an assistant manager who reflects your beliefs and style. That way, he will be more likely to select schedules that suit your overall philosophy, compared to an assistant manager who has a contrasting style to your own.
Its very important to understand this. If you want off the ball improved, then the lead coach better be good enough to be able to train those attributes.
So let’s take an example of how all this will be inter-related. This was a factor in previous editions of FM but now since we have the power to customise training schedules, things have become more precise. This is one way of doing it, and not the only way.
Say you want your squad to develop first touch, off the ball and decisions as a priority. First you need to choose the right training session. Assuming you want to have your team master tactical familiarity too, then you will need to choose of one the General schedules to start with. Ideally you want a session that maximises these so training sessions that include these are ideal.
Here I would pick Possession and Tactical Training as my main session since these hit the 3 attributes I want and do not dilute the attribute growth by hitting too many at the same time
These training sessions will be incorporated into my weekly schedule. They also serve to work on the main tactical familiarity areas for my squad. So here I have killed two birds with one stone. I have worked on tactical familiarity for the players involved and have also managed to drive it in a direction I want.
The next step is to ensure that our Lead Coaches work those attributes. Referring to the Coaching Category and Attributes table listed earlier we then find that we need a top coach in Attacking Tactical. And we need another two coaches who are 5 star in Possession Tactical and Possession Technical. This ensures that we at least make sure we have the best personnel to help our squad develop.
You can now see how organically the training schedules now work with other elements in the game.
The quality of training is also affected by your facilities. You need to continually develop your facilities over time to give your players the best kind of training possible. And don’t forget the costs of this increase over time. The more you improve them, the higher the costs of running them become. You should also look to hire coaches who fit your style of play, however to be honest, this is the lowest on my priority list.
There are 5 broad categories for coaches training specialisations . If you want to make sure that players get the attention they need, then you need to make sure the Coach Workload is not Heavy. Average or Light usually suffice. This will give the players the required attention they need for attribute development
In terms of specialisation a coach can now have up to two focuses per specialisation, which basically means that an Attacking coach can to tactical as well as technical. However here the more coaches you have the more you specialise. This means better attention to your players.
I love the training module and I have a few quick tips that usually work well with how I play the game. Once you have decided on your club DNA, which basically means – the style of football you want to play, then set up training to ensure you get those kind of players. It’s relatively easy if you are with an established club. The challenge gets exponentially harder the lower down the tiers you go.
Please note I don’t use the player editor tools to check a players potential or current ability. I like to be fully immersed into the realism that no one can fully tell the potential of a player. All we can do is hope. And that’s how I play the game.
ACHIEVING TACTICAL FAMILIARITY
The term tactical familiarity refers to how well your squad understands the requirements of the tactical system you are playing with. The better a team understands the tactical system, the better it performs. Achieving familiarity is easy if you understand what this entails. Tactical Familiarity is done on an individual player basis. Team Cohesion governs how the team then comes together.
To become familiar with a tactic players in a team need to develop an understanding of:
Mentality, Passing, Tempo, Width, Creative Freedom, Pressing Intensity, Marking and Position/Role/Duty. You can check this information out by visiting any players Training page found under Training>Development. How familiar a player is with the teams tactical style is indicated there.
This page will indicate amongst other things:
- Position/Role/Duty a player is training for
- Additional Focus
- Intensity Level
- Coaches Training report
- Medical Report
- Tactical Familiarity
How do you improve tactical familiarity
Adopting training schedules that incorporate tactical familiarity elements. These schedules are usually the General, Match Preparation, Attacking, Defending,Tactical and Goalkeeping schedules.
- Whenever you use a new tactical system, you can incorporate these training schedules within a schedule of schedules to ensure that your players achieve tactical familiarity.
- Players also need to play the position in an actual game to see the results.
Whenever you use a new tactical system, the amount of familiarity the team needs to gain will depend on how much the new system deviates from the old one. For example if you are using a 532 and change to a 5122, then the deviation is mild and the side may only need to play the new system a few times to become accustomed to it. However if its a radically different system, you may need to incorporate training schedules that include tactical familiarity elements so that a side gets used to it.
When you want to choose a training session that improves tactical familiarity you will be looking for sessions that show a specific aspect of tactical familiarity being worked on. The example above shows possible improvements in pressing intensity and marking.
How quickly a side becomes familiar with a tactic depends on the number of systems being learned, the kind of training sessions being used and whether you are able to get as many players used to it in time. Matches are also essential to tactical familiarity gain. The recommended number for pre-season is 6. assuming you start with ‘early’ pre-season.
A side can become fluent in tactical systems as quickly as 4 weeks though this would be unrealistic as you would only be training one tactic and using the same 11 players for 4 weeks.
As a coach, you need to monitor your squads condition over time. Training and playing regular football leads to increased loads on a player’s body leading to fatigue and injury risks. So here are some tips on finding this information:
A players training load is indicated under the tab : Training>Individual. You will find the Individual Training Workload levels near the bottom of the screen.
A players individual training load levels are a function of the weekly team training schedule you set and any individual focus he receives. The medical centre will give you a player’s injury susceptibility. Use these to guide you on how to manage players.
A player’s natural fitness attribute is a good indicator of a players ability to withstand arduous training or a heavy load. It also helps us understand why a player may take longer to recover between matches. If you want a team to have better conditioning over the course of a season you need to incorporate fitness related schedules in preseason. Schedules need to fatigue players out so that they are physically pushed hard.
Once a season starts you can start managing the load more actively. During periods of fixture congestion you may want to reduce the load by incorporating more rest and recovery periods.
You can also manage the intensity of your workload by watching the intensity of your tactics. Tactics and training are inter-connected so consider reducing tactical intensity as well.
UNDERSTANDING PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
Every week you will be notified about the training ratings of a player. This will give you a good indication about how a player is developing. You will be monitoring this over time. Any rating above 6.5 is considered decent, a well designed program can easily average out at 7.5.
It also helps to understand how players develop to extract the most out of training.
Players take time to develop, when they are young they can take higher intensities and as they get older their bodies get weaker, so these intensities need to be monitored. A player peaks at around 28. At this time you should see the best distribution of abilities. Once he passes that age you may start to see some deterioration of attributes.
When you get a player in their youth, their physical attributes are still developing. You can afford to have a high intensity of training, you should also start considering getting them to specialise in roles. This will encourage growth to be focused. Between the ages of 18-22, they will need lots of football as well. At this age, promising youngsters need to be get game time.
Try to ensure they play at least 10-15 games in your first team squad if they have loads of potential. What I like to do at this point provided my scouts are good is to look at the spread between Current Ability and Potential Ability. If a player has 0 stars of CA and 3 stars of PA, then I know he has yet to reach full potential. This player will be given game time or sent out on loan.
When you loan players out, always ensure that the terms of the loan agreement give him at least first team experience. And make sure you have a recall clause. If they fail to maintain that agreement you can recall the youth player. Game time is vital for their development.
When they hit 18 I start considering whether the players are good enough. I tell this by noticing how their attributes have developed over time and gauge how well they do on loan. If they are worth keeping I then get them mentored by senior players, making sure they are in the same squad.
The same training schedule may not work with different clubs at different stages of development. Clubs with the best facilities and staff can probably extract maximum development potential from their players. And these clubs can probably push their players. So whenever you design any training schedule please bear this in mind.
The FM19 training guide, finally. It took quite a while to write this up and a fair amount of medication as well. And, with the valuable input from Seb Wassell from Sports [...]