Part two in my Emulating La Masia series focusses on the first factor that influences and actively enhances the quality of your youth players; the facilities. There are several options the board offers you that help you increase the position and standing of your youth academy. This article will look at these options and how they can help you in establishing a powerhouse youth academy. We will look at the Youth Training, the Youth Facilities and the Youth Recruitment.
Assessing what you have
In case you don’t know by heart what the status of your own facilities is, you can always check up on your own by looking at the clubs profile and selecting the facilities tab. The appropriate terms and phrases to describe your teams facilities are listed on this page.
As you can see, my team is doing alright in this department. Decent recruiting, nigh perfect youth training and decent facilities, which happen to be under construction as we speak. Things are not looking too shabby for us.
Let’s start off with the most important item on the list. The item of youth training is one that is also covered in part three of the series, the staff. The part that is covered here is acquiring the funds to actually pay for the staff who do all the work in youth training. Making sure your youth training is up to par ensures that the ability of your player rises and the players develop. It also ensures that the starting ability of players coming through the ranks goes up.
These are the various levels of youth training you can attain in the game.
If the club is committed to its youth setup and has a policy that allows you to develop youth players, it can’t hurt to nag the board continually for more funds. Incidentally, youth training is called junior coaching in FM16.
Besides the the Youth Training, we should also concern ourselves with the level of our Youth facilities, which happens to be an equally important part of the process for the recruitment of young players. Youth Training helps in speeding up the process of development and influences the starting ability of players, the Youth Facilities merely help in the development process, speeding it up an extra notch if they are up to par.
These are the various levels of Youth Facilities you can attain in the game.
If the club is committed to its youth setup and has a policy that allows you to develop youth players, it can’t hurt to nag the board continually for more funds to increase the quality of the youth facilities.
If you want youngsters with the greatest potential, you have to look on the size of the area in which you can search new players. This obviously applies to your scouts. If you play for Real Madrid, you have unlimited possibilities and you can search for players around the world, which means that the recruitment of new players is a strong likelihood that there will be youngsters from other countries than from Spain. However, in the case of clubs from lower leagues it is quite the opposite and the recruitment of young players mainly a local matter.
If the club is committed to its youth setup and has a policy that allows you to develop youth players, it can’t hurt to nag the board continually for more funds to increase the quality of the youth facilities. This is the internal recruitment process of the club. You cannot really influence this process beyond sinking more and more money into it and having a good Director of Youth.
There is also an external recruitment process, which means you can recruit foreign youngsters into your intake by taking on a feeder club abroad. We will look into this part in more detail later on.
How to use this knowledge
If you are serious about setting up a good youth academy, your first step should always be improving the youth training. This serves a double purpose, as it simultaneously raises the starting ability of your annual intake as well as improving the ability of the players currently at the club. This helps you to either sell players, to raise cash for the most likely necessary improvements to facilities and the staff or it produces players you can use in first team, helping with home-grown quota or allowing you to sell more expensive senior players. Since this single factor has the most impact, it makes sense to start here.
The second step should be sinking money into the youth facilities. The better the facilities, the more expensive a further improvement will be. Since improving these facilities only influences the development of the current ability of players, effectively speeding up their development process, it’s not the first step to take. It’s often a costly and time-consuming affair for far less gain than hiring better coaches.
The icing on the cake is the recruitment. The effects of this step are rather uncertain and wildly varying from year to year, so sinking money in this process is something you should do when you have attained the best facilities and coaches money can buy. Taking on feeder clubs and taking on more scouts for youth recruitment is important, but less so than the other two steps. To summarise.