Training & Youth Facilities Explained; The Level of Current and Potential Ability Progression
Here you’ll get a closer insight to the levels of the training facilities and how they work in Football Manager.
Coming to grips with the level of training facilities in Football Manager immediately when taking over a new club is an essential day one task. For the long term planning of your club it’s important to know which training facilities to upgrade to not only develop the players at a faster rate but also to get better newgens from the annual youth intake.
In Football Manager a club’s facilities are split between corporate facilities and training facilities, youth facilities, youth recruitment and junior coaching, as well as showing a club’s youth level (English clubs) and the training ground and stadium for first team and youth.
But how do these training facilities and specific youth facilities impact the development of players; e.g their influence on current ability and potential ability progression?
In this article I will examine the Football Manager Training Facilities Levels and how they influence youth and player development improvement as closely as possible. We will define the different Football Manager training facilities – a knowledge you will definitely favour from when building a club dynasty – taking your amateur club to a professional level.
An Ultimate Guide to Junior Coaching, Youth- and Training Facilities in Football Manager
The Levels of Training Facility – The Rate of Player Development
As you will discover there are many different levels of a clubs training facility. The higher the quality of your training facilities, the better for your players. The training facility level can be understood as the quality level of the existing facilities – the circumstances of the training ground which the players spend their daily training at.
With better training facilities the player attributes are more likely to increase under the ideal circumstances.
Together with appointing 5-star coaches will the Football Manager training facility be one of the factors which determines a players ability progression by improving player attributes or player preferred moves.
The training facility levels are as follows from worst to best:
- Below Average
- State of the Art
Depending on a clubs level of training facilities player development will vary. It is quite easy to imagine that if a player is provided with the very best quality of training facilities, his capability as a footballer is more likely to increase. In real life, there are several well known training facilities with top quality facilities. Some examples of top quality training facilities are Ciudad de Valdebebas (R. Madrid), AON Training Complex (Man Utd) or Camp des Loges (PSG), which can be viewed as some of the bests.
Below we will go through the different other facilities which are related to the current and potential ability progression rate. This means that all these areas should be focused on in order to succeed from player and youth development.
Football Manager Youth Facilities
Similar to the general training facilities are the youth facilities. The Football Manager youth facilities are related to your youth team – Under 18, Under-19 or Under-21 (formerly known as Reserves).
The level of quality and available training facilities (read specific player attribute training) follows the general training facilities, but influences players under the age of 18’s development rate in regard to fulfilling his current ability by improving player attributes.
The youth facility levels are as follows from worst to best:
- Below Average
- State of the Art
The level of youth training facilities will determine the progression rate of current ability. Better facilities will add more points to the player attributes development. While 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 main aim is to see a closer gap between current ability and potential ability for your youngsters right? Making it both more likely at an earlier point to see them good enough challenging for the first team. Higher levels of youth facilities coupled with 5-star youth coaches and professional youth players with high determination and work rate will likely mean an higher development rate of the player attributes.
As you can imagine, there is no point to sign a bunch of Football Manager wonderkids with 5 star potential if they never will be able to reach more than half of it.
Youth and Training Facilities are the decisive factors for a players development rate and progression on current ability in order to reach full potential ability in the long term.
Junior Coaching – Increase Possibility of a Better Youth Intake
We have previously looked at how to get better regens from the annual youth intake. This will only be a summary of what the junior coaching affects.
The Football Manager Junior Coaching can be seen as the level and quality of your coaching team BEFORE your players reach your youth team. This means that for a better quality level of your youth candidates which you receive from the annual youth intake, you will need to improve the junior coaching level. There are 7 levels of the Junior Coaching:
- Fairly Basic
An exceptional level of junior coaching may increase the probability to get players in the annual youth intake with higher current ability than a club with less facilities! Perhaps you’ll get a 4 or 5 silver star player after upgrading to excellent. These young players will most likely already be set to continue their progress in the reserves team, B-team (Spain) or Under-21 squad (England) as their CA is close to their PA. We can not look away from the importance of having an appropriate backroom staff member to handle the youth recruitment – the one who brings youth players into the club for example from the annual youth intake. The Head of youth Development staff role is designed to bring youngsters into the club.
An excellent Head of Youth Development backroom staff may likely improve the quality level of the regens as he uses his judgement to pick the ones with best personality and attributes according to your playing style and tactic – which decrease the necessary to re-train players. Retraining players into a new position will most likely set back the development rate and decrease potential ability substantially.
Junior coaching is the decisive factor of the regens / youth candidates’ level of current ability.
Youth Recruitment – Its Influence on Potential Ability
The Football Manager youth recruitment can be described as the level of scouting network range – aka how many players it reaches and the quality of these players. The clubs youth recruitment system are very much tied to its reputation. Better reputation will not only make it more likely that better newgens will like to join your training academy, but also that players from all over the world will look to it as the main option to reach world class standard.
A low youth recruitment will not only limit the regens to “unwanted” local regens but also make it more likely to get newgens with less potential in the annual youth intake. This can be compared to the network and reputation of the Spanish Barcelona, who have many youth academies, scouts and coaches around the world, who is constantly trying to develop and find top talents for the La Masia academy – the final step for all young players before being able to compete for a place in the first team.
There are eight levels of youth recruitment:
- Fairly Basic
- Above Average
- Well Established
Youth recruitment is the decisive factor of the newgens / youth candidates level of potential ability – how good they can become and where they are from (Brazilian, Moroccan or even Norwegian).
Football Manager Youth Setup Category (English Tiers Only)
While the training facilities are important for the level of current ability and potential ability progress and the overall player development, we cant hide the fact that match experience and match training is as important as individual training. Related to this issue, we like to talk a bit about the English Youth Setup Categories labelled as Youth Level under the overview of club facilities.
When managing an English club you may have noticed the Level of Youth Setup Category. This feature is part of the Elite Player Performance Plan via the Professional Development League introduced by FA in 2012 and controlled by Premier League.
The Professional Development League is a league structure which are an direct successor of the former Reserves League. There are 3 Youth Setup categories, where level 1 is the best and 3 is the lowest. Clubs in level 1 will get better competition facing clubs with similar reputation. In real life there are different youth setup levels for Under-21 and Under-18, but in Football Manager it ranges from level 1 to level 4, where the Under-21 setup exists of four groups, while the Under-18 consists of 2 groups.
Youth Setup Category 1 Clubs 2014/15
Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Norwich City, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Reading, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Youth Setup Category 2 Clubs 2014/15
Barnsley, Birmingham City, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday
Brentford, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United, Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town, Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City
Youth Setup Category 3 Clubs 2014/15
North West Conference:
Accrington Stanley, Blackpool, Burnley, Bury, Carlisle United, Fleetwood Town, Morecambe, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Preston North End, Rochdale, Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers, Walsall, Wigan Athletic, Wrexham
North East Conference:
Bradford City, Burton Albion, Chesterfield, Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Hartlepool United, Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Notts County, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, York City
South West Conference:
AFC Bournemouth, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Exeter City, Newport County, Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle, Portmouth, Swindon Town, Torquay United
South East Conference:
Barnet, Cambridge United, Crawley, Dagenham & Redbridge, Gillingham, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, MK Dons, Northampton Town, Peterborough United, Southend United, Stevenage, Watford, AFC Wimbledon
The youth setup category can also be requested enhanced. An upgrade here will happen when a new season starts as the club is bound to play in the division and specific youth level briefly mentioned above. This will be similar to the unavailability to promote your current club to a higher division just by a click of a button.
Promoting your club to an higher youth setup level will ensure improved competition which often ensures better development rate for the players, as facing better players will provide more experience related to tactical knowledge and finally getting used to playing against more technical players at an higher match tempo.
For English clubs, this will be an important facility to upgrade in order to develop better youngsters as the players will face better opponents.
Upgrading Your Football Manager Training and Youth Facilities
Everything you need to know about training facilities are on your club information facilities tab. From there, you can see the current level of your facilities. Upgrading your facilities or at least planning on how you shall go about in your youth development program in order to develop better players are vital.
At board meetings you’ll have (as I see it) different options to convince the board about the necessary of an improvement or expansion. I would presume that the way you talk to your chairman and board will affect your long term relationship with them. Most often the case isn’t about demanding but convincing them of the benefits of improving the current level of facilities.
Planned expansions and the ability to request upgrades are done in the boardroom overview panel. To improve your current facilities, you’ll need to ask your board to schedule an upgrade. Alternatively, you can wait for your board to do it themselves. Upgrading your facilities will usually start immediately, but can also be scheduled for after the season is over depending on the board. It takes about some months to half a year depending on level of expansions – how big the upgrade is and which department you improves.
Upgrading isn’t as easy as it sounds though, and you should look at your finances and reputation before you ask your board for improving facilities. If the board thinks it’s too expensive they will not upgrade them, as you hasn’t the funds for it, or because the board has another philosophy, such as signing players for the first team only.
Remember, even when you finally build the best facilities, you’ll have to upgrade them every now and then (every few seasons), due to technological advancements in the world. This means that it’s an continuously process to reach and then keep a professional stature – something that can be quite expensive. But as I see it, I would rather spend money on player development rather than buying an ‘expensive’ player who have already fulfilled his potential ability – over the age of 23.
The Benefits of Improving The Club Facilities
The club facilities – hereby described as training and youth facilities are some of the most important parts of your club. Depending on the level of your training facilities, you’re more likely to improve your players no matter what training you instruct them to do. Higher quality levels will have greater effects in terms of attribute improvement and general development. This applies especially to younger players in your senior team, who haven’t yet reached their full potential. For example, an 18-year old player will eventually become a much better player if he’s in Barcelona than in AFC Wimbledon, just through training facilities alone. His development will be quicker, and his attributes will increase by individual training.
Investing in your Training facilities are beneficial for two major purposes:
- 1. For clubs with poor training facilities will “Off the ball”, “Marking” and “Positioning” be unavailable to select from the individual training specific attribute
- 2. Increasing the progress rate of players ability – ensuring a players current ability will close in to their potential ability.
P.S. On the side note, there will be as many factors which may decrease development rate as there are factors who increases it.
Investing in your training facilities are also very beneficial in a long-term financial point of view. A facility upgrade is as expensive as a new player, but will relate directly to your football philosophies agreed under job interview. Hypothetically, you can resign from signing expensive, established players and in turn look for cheap, young players with potential. Signing undeveloped players for low prices, developing them to much better players thanks to your superior training facilities is an easy way to make loads of money. When a given player develops, his value increases. Before he’s sold, he will benefit your team with his improved skills, granting you better results in the process. Eventually your club will become a much better, richer and reputable institution.
Another point of upgrading the training facilities are the enhanced ability to attract better players. By continously improving clubs training facilities, there will be far more players who wants to look at the possibilities of putting pen on paper for your club.
We hope this short overview will convince you the importance of investing in your training facilities, and always reach for the best facilities in order to get players with higher current and potential ability or simply develop better players. In the long term, it’s an absolute must for any aspiring club to have the highest quality of facilities possible, both to attract better players but also to succeed with the development plan.