The second factor that influences and actively enhances the quality of your youth players is the staff you employ, both to run the daily training sessions and to help with the intake of new youth players. Consistently high-level training-sessions help you raise the attributes of your players, both in general and when you employ specific role- or attribute-training. That means you need to find as many good coaches as you can and use these coaches effectively, whereas the quality of the intake is partially determined by the Head of Youth Department, which makes him a quite important staff member. These are the subjects I want to look at in this part of the series. Where to look at when you recruit coaches, how to use the coaches once you get them and what makes a good Head of Youth Department?
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What to look for when recruiting
Whenever I am recruiting coaches, I assess which categories need a boost. Each category has it’s own, unique requirements, but there are some requirements that are useful for each and every training category in FM. In a nutshell, the schedule would look a little something like this.
For the filters I use to find these players, I would like to refer you to this Passion4FM article, where a link containing the filters is located near the bottom of the page.
Most of the attributes mentioned above are self-explanatory, so I will not describe in great detail what they do. There are three general mental attributes that the game mentions as useful for any category and I believe it might be useful to look at these.
Determination: When a coach is determined, he is more likely to give it his utmost best to improve not only himself but others as well. Such a coach is more likely to take coaching courses and pass them in order to improve himself, as well as putting in 100% during the training sessions with the squad.
Level of Discipline: When a coach is strict during the training sessions, players get less chances to goof around or doze off, which means the training sessions become more effective. Having very strict coaches combined with a squad that casual or laid-back is generally a bad idea though, as it could lead to dressing room mutinies. On the other hand, most managers tend to go for players with a more determined personality when given half the chance.
Motivating: When a coach is able to motivate and inspire his players, they are more likely to perform well during the training sessions. It makes sense that you look for a coach who has the innate ability to fire up the troops during their work-out. Motivated players tend to work harder after all.
Since this isn’t a generic training guide and I am seriously interested in improving the quality of my youth academy, I want to add another factor that is rather specific for a quality youth coach. Again, it’s a no-brainer, but I really want to mention it, in order to provide you with a complete story. The final generic attribute I look at for youth coaches is Working with Youngsters.
Using your coaches effectively
Efficiency is important here. The game consists of nine different training categories and in an ideal situation, you can use a specialist for each and every category. You will need the support of the board here, when they do not allow as many. If you have more than nine coaching slots available, I highly recommend you fill them all in order to simultaneously improve the quality and keep the workload for each individual coach down. If you do not have that many slot, nag and pester the board for more slots.
The setup I am using below is just for the youth setup, though the first team setup is pretty much identical. I can use no less than fifteen staff members to fill nine slots, which allows me a decent mix between specialisation and universality, resulting in a fairly high quality setup with average to light workloads for the coaches.
I have found a specialist for nearly every category, someone who raises the overall quality of the training session. To lower the workload, I have added a few universal coaches to help out in multiple departments. I strive for four star coaches in every department, but given the fact that I am stuck in Australia, good coaches tend to be a scarce commodity. I tend to work around that problem by sending the ones I have on as many coaching courses as possible, which is something I recommend anyway.
The Head of Youth Department
As I mentioned in part 02 of the series, the facilities you have are a major factor in determining the quality of your annual youth intake. The Head of Youth Department is the second factor you need to take into consideration. Since you want as many good youth players as you can get without having to poach them from other clubs, it’s a role whose importance cannot be underestimated. When you are the kind of manager that is kind of hands off regarding the youth academy, as in you don’t want to micro-manage everything, this guy generally runs the entire academy, from managing the teams to determining the intake to finding clubs to loan the youths to. If needed, he can even take up a coaching slot, as you can see in the screenshot in the previous paragraph, where my Head of Youth Department is listed as a coach as well.
My own Head of Youth Department should show you what to look for when you are recruiting suitable candidates for your own team.
The requirements the game gives you are pretty much self-explanatory. He will deal with the academy, so he should be good at working with youngsters. Since he is also directly responsible for the intake, he should have a keen eye for talent, which explains the need for judging player ability as well as judging player potential. In an ideal situation, with many suitable candidates available to you, you should see if he can double as a good coach as well. If you’re really micro-managing, you could and should also look at his preferred style of playing and see if it matches your own. Since he is supposed to bring in youths for the academy, it might be useful if their strengths actually matched your style of play and requirements (more on that later).
Another facet to consider is the personality of the Head of Youth Department. Since he has a large influence in which players appear in your intake, you want him to have a neutral or positive mentality. Many of the newgens brought in share their personality with the Head of Youth Department. If you are lucky enough to find a model professional, be sure to hire him.