Youth development is such a favourite hobby for me in FM17. Just imagine the excitement you get when you get a youth from the academy youth intake, and then you congratulate your Head of Youth Development for a good job. All the prayers you done has been answered , and with a huge luck , you will be grateful for the youth candidates. And then you decide where can he be, your u18 or is he good enough for u21 or even crazier talent who deserves to be in first team squad.
Then you tried to find the best tutor for him, ensuring he able to sort out the youth’s fallacies and weak mentality. You got to find a guy who can be your youth’s best friend in the club. You have to fight hard with your board to ensure you get the best training and youth facilities, not getting that, you will resign. But you also have to check where are you in the league standings, are you in lowest league, or in a very debt-ridden club. Sometimes, we could not be sad to sell them for other clubs who can ensure the youth’s incredible talent don’t get washed up. With some sum of money and future transfer fee, it can help you find our some good players to go up the league ladder. Then you do not need to sell to another club after all.
IF you still have him, watching him grow up is the best thing you ever feel. You can feel a pre-father feeling even when you are not having kids yet. You always make him better, discipline him and talk to him time to time. The results and achievements are even sweeter when they became World player of the year, they broke club all-time goal record, they became an important cog in any team, they became national team’s top scorer, they became the best in the nation and so on.
If you are a crazy maniac, you can definitely bring them on from the bench at 16 years old. If not you put them in u18 and u21, but then if they are good for any 2nd division or 1st division, why not loan them out. Giving them a lot of games against the big men surely will make them better. But you also have to check the head coaches you are trusting your youth on and also their club facilities.
I did some crazy things with youth and it is paying the dividend in the form of 5 CL and 7 league titles in 12 years, that is a good 12 trophies in 12 years.
It really feels much sweeter and greater when you train someone and they win something – be it personal or club achievements. It will be an everlasting memory. I still remember my whole core of FM16 Ajax team – Selahattin, Santy Harouchi, Kraibeek, De Groot, Schaap, Hermanto. And I am sure I will remember these guys in FM17 forever.
Let’s see who are the guys I trained from 16 and now became world beaters:
World player of the year 2028: Josu Larrazabal
– When he was 16, he was already playing at a 2nd division, its my principle to make sure the kid have basic attributes to feature in my squad. But I know at 16 years old, if he wanted by a good 2nd division club, he must be crazy good. So I immediately moved him to first team at 17 and the rest is history. Fast forward 7 years, I made him a world class, world best midfielder. Some even say he is amazing as AMC and striker haha.
Athletic Bilbao top goalscorer of all time – pending 40 more goals: Angel Sanchez
– This was a maniac move – why? Well, I immediately put him on bench and keep calling him on every game from a sub and he grew so well from there. In the cup games or against a lesser side, he was a starter too. Right now he is having 206 league goals and needs 46 more to win over Telmo Zarra’s goal count. I can never forget as a young boy he scored the winning CL goal after the year Asier Villalibre left.
Spain’s top goalscorer of all time – Asier Villalibre
This kid was so damn good, I had to use him as AF at 18 years old because Aduriz was very inconsistent in FM17 than FM16. He was such a crazy striker, at such young age he scored 3 goals vs PSG in CL final and we won CL. And guess what happened, PSG came with 78m to get him. But thank god, I had Angel Sanchez to replace him, and I do not miss him at club level, but at national team Villalibre was amazing.
Spain national defender and Athletic Bilbao consistent defender – Chechu
Chechu case was so damn peculiar, I give him games from the bench also but then he was so good he was keep forcing me to play at 1st team alongside Laporte than Mikel Jose or Xabi Etxeita.He was also youth intake and still with me after all these years.
Spain’s Iniesta – Iker Bilbao
This amazing kid is also from youth intake, at 5’10, with such dribbling and amazing core mentalities, it is exactly said to have Andres Iniesta back so fast after the year he retired.
Trust me, he look so short in the FM screen but the way he cuts and dribbles through and the amount of key passes he passes forward for club and country will never be forgotten.
One of the World best leftback – Ibai Garitano
I really impressed by such a fast, strong, crosser, intelligent, high concentration, amazing positioning leftback. I really truly missed him when he left for PSG for 58m. Imagine 58m for a leftback, and I feel it is a steal for his ability. But then I do have Juanfran Arnau now trying to emulate him. I still get the privilege to play Ibai in the national team.
At freaking 17, starter of world best 4 clubs , Athletic Bilbao and At freaking 18, starter of national team Spain – Noel Medina
This kid is the god GK of his era, right now Bayern got the world best GK but trust me I could never believe how fast is he growing. At 18 he is so unbeatable and already won European Championship 2028 with Spain! Now he is 19 and we are trying our best to win our first together CL. For all his talent, he is yet to win UCL, but won the league and Euro with Spain. I am sure he will work hard to win another 5 for club and make Athletic Bilbao get La Decima.
I think 6 players is sufficient to express my love of developing youth and love of FM. I could go on with the list with Abdellaoui, Luis Carros Torres, Domingo Cortell, Jesus Nicolas, Casamayor, Arnau, Fuentes, Aurelio Munoz, but I don’t want to take all your time guys haha.