A Football Manager Guide to Find 5-Star Coaches | Key Staff Attributes For General Training
You may have wondered how you can setup a professional and successful player development program in Football Manager. The general tool to player development is improving the player attributes by training. One of the first steps before you can even have any hope of succeeding with player development through training is to improve the level of the coaching team and search for 5-star coaches. This is something I often spend the most time on in the pre-season, but will also be focused on alongside increasing the scouting knowledge in order to reveal more 5-star coaches by carefully tracking down the best Football Manager coaches. How you can find 5 star coaches and what’s required of them to be rated as 5-star coaches is one of the few secrets to succeed with player development.
Previously we have discussed the Football Managers staff attributes, and what they mean in Football Manager. The staff attributes, aka their level of quality, will determine their star rating and which coaching category they’re best suited for, and which they prefers working at. While you in Football Manager 2018 can highlight a backroom staffs available staff roles and get the appropriate staff attributes required I feel it’s important to understand what’s behind these attributes and find the best coaches in Football Manager and backroom staff with our downloadable staff search filter, which is available for download in the bottom of this post.
You will need to know how to find the best coaches and assign them to their best training category in order to get the most out of training – in additional to know the basics of general and individual training in Football Manager, and how workload and training intensity influence the player development.
The secrets of how to find the best coaches and what separates a 3 star coach to a 5 star coach is of highly importance. With this knowledge of how to find the best coaches in Football Manager, you will be able to find your own 5-star coaches no matter what year you are playing in!
Football Manager Training Categories
The Football Manager training categories consists of three main focusing areas with a total of 9 sub sections. The general training categories is Fitness (Aerobic and Strength), Goalkeeping (Shot Stopping and Handling) and General Training (which is divided into 5 new sub-categories: Tactics, Ball Control, Defending, Attacking, Shooting).
The coaching team will look to improve a set of player attributes relating to the required attributes of the different player roles and may work with both defenders, midfielders and strikers, depending on their individual training role assignment, the coaches focusing area and the general training set. Having the maximum allowed number of coaches is important for two things: reducing each and every coaches workload and improving the overall training quality – how much the players will gain from training.
To increase the amount of training quality for your players it is important to reduce the coaches workload and improve the level of specialization, and further increase the coaching team (both for your first team and youth team) to maximize the player development. Here it’s a matter of approaching one head coach for each sub-category and some general coaches also referred to as overall coaches. In my point of view these overall coaches shall reduce the workload for the head coach and be assigned to two or three training categories according to what gives a decent star rating (two to three and a half star). For a head coach you should always look for at least coaches with 4 stars with the aim of improving the level to 5-stars in a longer perspective, but this will depend on the level of the league, either you are managing a minor or a top club. No matter managing level, the importance is to find the best coaches as possible where 5 star coaches is the best.
Here you will learn more about the different training categories, and what’s required for a good coach to get as high as possible coaching star rating and eventually how staff attributes or in other words star rating can be improved.
The Key General Coaching & Backroom Staff Attributes [Mental Abilities]:
The general coaching attributes is the basic important attributes for every backroom staff member involved on a daily basis with training and player development. These staff attributes should be as high as possible to maximize the coaching star ratings. In additional to the staff member’s personality they will influence how the coaches will act on a daily basis; their passion, drive and determination to make the players better alongside how they motivate your players to work harder, as they are all mental abilities. Alongside these key backroom staff attributes for the coaching staff it’s important to track down coaches with a ‘positive’ personality. Here I prefer coaches with a resolute, model professional, driven or determined personality since their personality may impact on the youth intake and rub off onto the youth players.
There are 3 general coaching attributes that is vital for finding excellent coaches (read 5-star);
Determination: – A determine coach will have a higher mental drive and desire to improve his coaching skills and coaching qualifications. A good coach with high determination will look to take coaching courses to improve himself and have better possibilities to succeed. The level of determination will also influence his mental drive to work in the best leagues in the football world as he often has the desire and ambitions to work with the best players.
Level of Discipline – This staff attribute affects the level of strictness and shows us how strict the coach will or will not be in the daily management and training. A coach with low level of discipline will be more relaxed, something that may not be a good thing. Strict coaches will often get quicker and better results, but can also upset your players which lowers their morale and eventually stresses them out, similar to what is rumored to happen within the Manchester United squad of 2015-2016 season working under the highly strict manager Louis van Gaal. Level of Discipline is tied to staff attribute mental, as a strict coach needs good level of mental attribute to make sure he can act and observe the level of stress and increase/decrease his strictness to keep the players happiness and preserve good morale.
Motivating – The coaches ability to motivate and inspire the players to do well and improve. It affects how well the coaches are able to prepare the players for a variety of situations that may occur. A coach with high motivation will also influence the players work rate and affect their determination to play better, train harder and do better and eventually reach their seasonal goals. A coach with high level of motivation can also have a great effect on players prior to matches as he will likely pump them up – influencing their self-confidence making them believe in themselves, their abilities and build up the overall consensus to succeed with the tactical approach and achieving their goals.
In regard to training, players working under a coach with high motivation will take training more seriously and not slack off since they will be more likely to be motivated to work under the current training program, but this is also a matter of players individual personalities and how professional they are.
These three mental attributes explained above is vital for success and is the foundation for any backroom staff, either its assistant managers, first team coaches, youth coaches or head of youth development. The level of attributes can be the difference between a 3 star coach and a 5 star coach, or in an other term; the difference between the coaching level: average and excellent.
How To Get 5-Star Coaches for Every Specific Training Category:
1. Key Attributes for 5-Star Goalkeeping Coaching Staff
The goalkeeping coaches will only work with the goalkeepers in your team (both first team and junior team), and will look to improve the goalkeeping player attributes such as his handling the ball, rushing out to deal with the striker in one on one situations or communicating with the defensive line.
New for Football Manager 2018, the goalkeeping coaches will also work on the goalkeepers abilities in distribution, either it’s his passing, kicking and throw ins.
Goalkeeping coaches is specialists and will never be able to be assigned to the general training categories as long as he is under contract as goalkeeping coach.
The Goalkeeping training category is split into three sub-categories;
- Shot stopping which improves a goalkeepers reflexes, one on ones, composure, concentration and positioning
- Key Attributes for Shot Stopping Goalkeeper Coaches: GK Shot Stopping in additional to Tactical
- Handling which improves a goalkeepers handling, aerial reach, command of area and communication.
- Key Attributes for Handling Goalkeeper Coaches: GK Handling in additional to Tactical
- Distribution which improves a goalkeepers passing, kicking and throw ins.
- Key Attributes for Distribution Goalkeeper Coaches: GK Distribution in additional to Technique
Key Attributes For 5-Star Fitness Coaching Staff
Similar to the goalkeeper coaches and in difference to first team general coaches, the fitness coaches will work with every players in your team (both first team, reserves and youth team). They will look to improve the players physical attributes, which is vital to endure the full 90 minutes of a match and cover the pitch no matter its surface and weather conditions, and ultimately have the physical preferences to play with your preferred playing style, either its a style based on physical strength and aggression, quick tempo or direct football where pace and covering large distances is in focus.
A coach signed as the role of a fitness coach can only be assigned to the two fitness categories, and can be described as a specialist since they can not be assigned to any other coaching categories. When looking for a good fitness coach you should set the minimum attribute level to at least 17 where 20 is the best, since there are few other parameters than the fitness attributes which determines his expertise and his quality of it.
The fitness training category is split into two sub sections;
- strength which looks to improve acceleration, stamina, strength, natural fitness and work rate
- aerobic which looks to improve agility, jumping reach, balance and pace
- Key Attribute or the most important attributes for Fitness Coaches is: Fitness
- Secondary attributes; Determination, Motivation and Level of Discipline
Key General Training Attributes for 5 Star Coaches
The general training category is the most important training category, and covers the players technical and tactical abilities – their set of skills which determine their best player role. The coaching staff working to improve technical, tactical and secondly mental attributes is highly decisive in terms of match performance and player reaction on an event by event basis within the match engine. The level of the coaching staff and your clubs training facilities will be some of the matters which impacts on each players chance to improve their current ability and finally reach their potential ability level.
As training is divided into first team training and youth training, you will need both youth coaches and first team coaches – all with as high star rating and as great personality as possible.
All coaches signed as general coaches will have the opportunity to be assigned to all the different 9 training categories; even goalkeeping or fitness coaching. This is one of the main differences between the general coaches and the specialists (fitness and goalkeeping). Here it’s important to note that first team coaches will only work with the first team and the reserve players, while youth coaches will only work with the youth players.
The general training category is split into 5 sub sections. It’s often wise to assign an expert for every sub-section to decrease the amount of coaches’ workload and increase the amount of player development and happiness. Every coach should be assigned to a maximum of one training category (if possible), as time spend on more than one training area decreases the training quality for your players.
Tactics coaches will spend their focus on the tactical side of the game providing more accurate advices and explicit information on how the players shall perform under the current tactical philosophy and chosen player roles.
The tactical coaches will look to improve the players interaction between each other and how the players shall behave in the benefit of the team as well as improving the players overall knowledge on being tactical astute. Herein lies focus on improving vital mental attributes such as decision making, anticipation, composure, concentration and teamwork. It’s of highly importance to find the best option as you want a tactical coach which can translate your ideas on to the players more effectively.
The most important attribute for tactic coaches is;
It is also important to look at the coaches tactical knowledge and his preferred formation according to your tactics, when choosing a good tactical coach. Your tactical coach is also the natural choice as responsible for backroom advice on the tactical area of the game. You can choose any of your general coaches or assistant manager to be responsible for providing you advice on tactical areas, but I recommend a staff with high level of tactical coaching and tactical knowledge.
To setup your staff responsibilities go to Staff > Responsibilities > Personal Assistant
The coaches will work on the defensive areas of the game; marking, tackling and concentration, and will look to improve players defensive qualities and how they deals with the defensive phase of the game. Their tactical understanding and marking style is some of the related areas of importance. When coaching the defensive side of the game its important that the coach can translate tactical plans within your tactic in a way the players understands and improve players positioning and understanding on how they shall behave in the defensive phase more effectively.
The most important staff attributes for defending coaches are;
- Defending in additional to Tactical
The attacking coaches will look to improve passing, vision, off the ball movement and crossing, which is some of the most important parts of attacking play. Good attacking coaches can be difficult to find and attract the interest of. Since their primarily focus will be on attacking movements, creativity and technical abilities with the ball at their feet they will have an important influence on the players tactical understanding of the attacking phase or situations where the team is in possession with the ball.
The most important attribute for attacking coaches is;
- Attacking in addition to Tactical
The Coaches assigned to shooting training category will work primarily with player roles which will come into goalscoring opportunities and influence the game in the final third. Here it’s normally to think of player roles within the ST and AM strata, but some midfield roles such as deep lying playmaker will benefit from a good shooting coach, since they will tutor the players in long shots and finishing, and their technical abilites striking the ball with their wrist, inside or outside of their foot.
The most important attribute(s) for this section is;
- Technical in addition to Attack
3.5) Ball Control:
Coaches assigned to the ball control category will look to improve a players first touch, dribbling, technique, heading and flair. While first touch and technique can be important for most of your players within a possession based system, dribbling and heading can be two focusing areas for wingers and defenders.
Similar to anticipation and decisions, first touch and technique is two vital attributes required for all players. When playing a short passing playing philosophy all of your players needs to have the abilities to control the ball under pressure and oftenly in tiny areas, something that requires high mental abilities – composure, concentration , decision-making and determination.
Assigning a good ball control coach is important, but often difficult due to the high ratings of technical attribute required to find 5-star coaches.
The most important attribute(s) for this section is;
- Technical in addition to Mental Coaching
When searching for staff with high technical attribute it could be recommended to sign a former active player, as they will have more experience in technical skills.
How To Improve A Coaches Star Rating
Similar to any players, backroom staff has a current and potential ability attribute attached to their profile. While these attributes are hidden, staff with unfulfilled potential ability will have the chance to improve their staff attributes and star rating. This is often the case for younger staff who sees the benefit of improving themselves – high determination – and are not reaching the latter days of their coaching career where certain staff attributes may stand still or decrease the older they gets.
His current star rating and coaching qualification will be some of the indicators of his current ability and could be some filters to set on the custom staff search view to track down the best backroom staff.
Since a staffs coaching qualification is related to his current ability, letting coaches attend coaching courses will eventually improve their level of staff attributes – their coaching quality and skills. Letting the staff take coaching courses will cost limited amount of money and can be an effective way to improve the level of the coaching staff without paying an higher contract termination fee or signing a coach from another club which may force you to pay a compensation fee to his current club.
There are 7 levels of coaching qualifications where Continental Pro licence is the highest education – often given to international coaches.
- National C
- National B
- National A
- Continental C Licence
- Continental B Licence
- Continental A Licence
- Continental Pro Licence
Sending a coach on courses doesn’t mean he will automatically receive his new coaching badge. Like players who are unable to learn new player preferred moves, a coach may fail on getting a higher coaching badge and may quit the course after a short period of time. I recommend to look at a coaches age, level of determination and personality before sending him out on a course. Another valuable thing to remember is that the coach will be less effective while attending a coaching course, either its to take on an higher coaching badge or learning a new language.
Apart from attending coaching courses and improving their level of coaching qualification, a staff can improve his current abilities by spending time on the training ground working with the players. Here it’s most likely that you will see ‘younger’ staffs attributes improve little by little over several seasons, especially if he has gone from coaching qualification continental A licence to PRO licence, or from national to continental.
Further Tips on buying 5-star coaches
I recommend to set the search filter for all these attributes to a minimum of 14, but if you are playing in a lower league, you will need to lower the attribute level. The clubs reputation, the leagues location and your scouting knowledge will influence the amount of possible targets with a decent level of the three general coaching attributes.
With attributes set at 14 you will have the ability to find a broad section of good backroom staff and coaches when managing in top leagues throughout Europe and/or South America. Then you can increase or decrease the stats according to the level of the managing team and its division to find coaches suitable under the current backroom staff wages and realistic targets.
You should also look to find coaches with decent level of mental attribute in order to preserve a good morale since he
will be able to observe a players state of mind and react accordingly to ensure happiness.
If you buy coaches with no knowledge of your nation (from other parts of the world / other cultures and leagues) you should make sure they have a good level of adaptability as they will then be able to do a great job more quicker and earlier on than a staff with low adaptability. Also be aware that a staff speaking a foreign language and coming from a another football culture will take longer time to settle in.
When signing backroom staff for your youth team, it is important to know that the assigned coaches should have high Working with Youth attribute.
Passion4FM’s backroom staff search filter ease your job when searching for specific staff roles. Here you will be able to find 5 star Coaches, the best assistant manager or staff that can improve your medical and scouting team. The new staff role for Football Manager 2018, Data Analyst is included as well as being able to find 5 star sport scientists, physios and youth coaches.