Youth development – External factors

youth development

In this guide, we will talk about the external factors that could affect youth development. The external factors are linked to the surroundings of a player and this is where you as a manager come into place. 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 youth development at your club. Please keep in mind that there is no right or wrong in development, this guide is only giving advice.


The quality of your club facilities is highly important for the development of your players. It is recommended to invest in the improvement of your facilities as much as you can. You will be able to do a board request in the board area in Football Manager. The reputation of your club and nation determines the level of your maximum upgrade. Besides that, your club will need to have enough funds to upgrade your facilities.


The training facilities are used by the players who are on a senior contract. This means all your players, except those on a youth contract. With better training facilities the player attributes are more likely to increase under the ideal circumstances. A state of the art training facility makes your players develop a lot faster than when you have an average training facility.


The youth facilities do the same thing as your training facilities, but only for players on a youth contract. Better facilities will add more points to the player attributes increase. Whilst a player at a club with poor facilities may spend over a year to increase his player attributes by one point, a player at top facility club may improve it within a 1-2 month period.


The junior coaches at your club not only focus on the U18 or U19 at your club, but they also train the virtual players who are younger This means that better youth coaches will increase the level of your annual youth intake.


Youth Recruitment affects the potential ability of players that are recruited at your own club. These are the players that will come through your youth setup, also the range of nations they are recruited from. Players with a higher potential ability have a bigger probability of reaching a high current ability. This means that a player with a high potential ability has a bigger chance of becoming a better player than someone with a lower potential ability. The bigger range of scouting improves your chances of finding players with a higher potential.


This Youth Level is for clubs based in England only, since they started the ‘Elite Player Performance Plan’. This determines on which level your youth teams compete. The higher this level is, the better the match experience will be for the players in these teams. (Levels (best to worse): 1, 2, 3, 4, 0).


It is well known that training has an enormous influence on the development of a player.


Players will work on improving their attributes in team training. Team training is the overall training that players in your team will go through every week. you can pick the type of training you would like to focus on and change this every week. The type of training you pick will have a direct effect on the development of your players. For example Attacking training will develop the attacking skills, whilst Fitness training will develop the stamina and overall fitness.


A more powerful tool is the individual training area. Here you can focus on individual player roles or even individual attributes. With individual training you can also alter a players main position and his player traits. By using this area correctly, you will be able to create a player that is ideal for your tactical ideas.

Obviously the ability of your staff will have an enormous influence on youth development. The better your coaches are, the better training they will get. The level of training can be seen in the coaches tab of the training area. The level is shown by stars (5 is maximum), but these also show the overall workload of the coaches for that area. A world class coach can drop some starts simply by having too many players to train.


It’s possible to tutor your youngsters in Football Manager by using your older and more experienced players. The more experienced player will take care of the youngster and make him feel more at home in your first team, he will push him in his training sessions and will help him to develop more. It’s important that the more experienced player has high mental attributes and a positive personality.

When the youngster is pleased with the tutoring, he can pick up the Player Preferred Moves from the more experienced player. So you should look at the PPM’s of the tutor and make sure he won’t mess up the way the youngster reacts in different situations. Tutoring could be very beneficial for your team cohesion when used correctly. By tutoring, the players can start to see each other as favored personal.


This part of player development could be the most underrated part of it because the best way to develop a youngster, is by giving him some regular match time. Loaning a player out isn’t always enough. When you loan out your talents to a lower level club, he has to do with lower quality coaches and facilities. It will be a lot harder for the player to reach his potential. With prospects that aren’t classified as future world stars it isn’t really a problem but sometimes you just need to gamble a bit with the higher potential players. Especially in the less important games.

By doing this, the player can slowly blend into the team, you’ll build a better relationship with him and you can monitor his development more. When the youngster reaches a certain level, you should give him some more regular play time. The more minutes he’ll make, the faster he will develop. Keep in mind that you don’t overload them so when he is making a lot of minutes, you should turn the intensity of his training down a little.

Players will get ‘points’ for their current ability in matches. They distribute these points over their attributes in training. For example, Jan Jansen is a striker with a PA of 160 and a CA of 80. He played three good matches in a row and got 5 points for his CA in those matches, his CA is now 85. His individual training is focused on the player role ‘Poacher’. The 5 points that he ‘won’ in the last three matches are now being divided over the attributes that are important for a Poacher by this training.



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