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Youth development Part 1

Lazy Nov 9, 2020 Last modified: 24 Nov 11,360 views

This is part 1 of the guide on youth development in Football Manager.

Everyone who plays Football Manager, dreams about managing a team which consists of his own, unique newgens and bring them to glory. This guide will give you some insights in the internal factors of youth development: attributes, mentality and potential.

Internal factors are the circumstances which are related to the player himself, obviously his potential ability is one of them but you can think of other aspects as well. In this guide we will  be explaining the various areas that affect youth development in Football Manager.

Also read Part 2 of this youth development guide.

(Hidden) Attributes

Player attributes are obviously very important for developing players in Football Manager. There are two sets of attributes. The standard ones you see in a player's profile (as seen on the screen above) and there are also a total of 11 hidden attributes. These hidden attributes are essential for the development of a young player.

There are two hidden attributes that are key attributes for a player's development.

  • Ambition - How successful a player wants to be.
  • Professionalism - How a player approaches his job as a footballer

Both attributes are rated according to the standard rating of Football Manager where 1 is the lowest, 20 is the highest. Although both attributes aren't visible in a player's profile, his personality will be a very good indicator of these hidden attributes. Scout a player to find out more on these hidden attributes.

Injury proneness

One of the 'hidden' attributes that is absolutely vital in player development is Injury proneness. This attribute shows how easy a player picks up an injury. It is advised that you look to sell a player that is injury prone, even if he is considered to be the new Messi.

High injury proneness means high injury risk. If you train him too hard or don't rest him enough, he'll easily pick up injuries. He will not be of any use to you if he misses 50% of your games in a season. Also, not being able to train will have a negative impact on his development as a player.


One of the main (visible) attributes to influence player development is 'Determination'. It was long thought by the community that this attribute did not affect player development. However, it now appears that this attribute indeed does have a great influence. Look for players that have a high determination. He will then have the willpower to train hard and develop himself as a player.


Also important is a player's personality. You can divide the personalities in three different types:

  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Negative

It is a fact that none of the players in the original database of Football Manager has a negative personality, not even Mario Balotelli (;)) A negative personality will only be given to a newgen (regen).

Positive personalities to look for are:

  • Resolute
  • Model professional
  • Fairly professional
  • Ambitious
  • Very ambitious
  • Driven
  • Determined


Obviously a player's age is important in player development. The younger he is, the more chances he has in reaching his maximum potential. The development rate of a player will drop when he is around 24-years-old.

If you have scouted a player with a high potential but a low current ability, look at his age. If this player is 22-years-old, he has very little time to develop fast enough to fulfill his potential ability. Aks yourself if it will be profitable to put time and money into this player, instead of investing it in one or two younger players under 20.

Current & potential ability

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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