Youth development - Internal factors

Once you’ve took time to improve your annual youth intake in Football Manager, it’s time to focus on the development of the players that have come through your youth system. Everyone who is playing Football Manager, dreams about managing a team which consists of his own, unique newgens and bring them to glory. 


The next question is, how do you ensure that those newgens will become the next world-class players? Unfortunately there is no secret formula which will guarantee a 100% success in this process and besides that, every manager has his own style of developing youngsters. 


This guide can give you some insights about what is affecting the development of your players and how to use these influences. Please keep in mind that there is no right or wrong in certain aspects of development, this guide is only giving advice. In this guide you'll read about some factors, that are linked to the player himself, that have an influence on their development. We will walk through them one by one in separate articles in the future.


This is what you want to see when you're developing youngsters


There are different factors which will determine if a player is capable of reaching his initial potential ability. You can try as hard as you can to give young players a chance to boost his current ability but if your facilities or coaching staff aren’t good enough, it’s pointless to do so. Just as with improving your annual youth intake, you are dependent of a combination of factors. We can divide these into two categories; internal factors and external factors. In this guide we’ll take on the internal factors of player development.


Internal factors are circumstances which are related to the player himself, obviously his potential ability is one of them but you can think of his personality too which reflects in small bits the hidden attribute professionalism.


The hidden attribute "Professionalism" is the most influential in player development. A player with 20 on professionalism will progress much faster than a player with 12 on professionalism. The personality of a player is a good indicator of this hidden attribute. A young talent with a positive personality will develop much faster than a player who has a negative one. You can influence the personalities of your players in different ways. This starts with your Head of Youth Development. If this HoYD has a positive personality, the players who are coming through your youth system will tend to have a similar personality as your HoYD. Also tutoring can change the character of your player, make sure you’ll use a tutor with a positive personality.


Some high potential players with positive personalities



Young players who are injury prone won’t reach their potential ability very often. Do you have a player with a big potential but is he injury prone? Be very careful with his training. A wonderkid who is watching training and matches instead of participating due to an injury, has way less time to develop himself. There are injuries which will keep your talent off the pitch for a very long time, this will be months of missed chances. So if you have a player who’s injury prone, make sure you will keep him on a light training schedule. Let him develop through team training and the game time he gets.



An injury prone player



The rate of development will drop when a player hits the age of, somewhere around, twenty-four in Football Manager. If you’ve scouted a player with a massive potential but a low current ability, keep an close eye on his age. If this player is, for example, twenty-two years old, he has very little time to develop fast enough to fulfil his potential ability. This is the same reason why very young players get black stars in their reports because it’s uncertain if he’ll progress fast enough. You can read more about the black stars in reports here. You’ll have to ask yourself if it’s profitable to put time and effort in developing a player who has a big difference between current and potential ability, when he’s past the age of twenty-two. Maybe it’s wise to keep searching for a younger player or someone who has had more progression in his development.


It’s obvious that the potential ability of a player has an influence in developing the player. The difference between the current and potential ability is, in my opinion, more important than the potential ability alone. The bigger the difference, the faster he’ll progress. The last few steps to reaching a player’s potential are the toughest and will take the most time.




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