Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night (delete as appropriate) Welcome back to my blog. You may have noticed some of my tweets regarding some games. I am well into the season, however, I don’t want to tweet every single game otherwise it renders this blog pretty pointless! That being said, this post is not about the season. I will get there eventually I promise!
What can you expect in this post? Well, a few things actually. I’ve got a 3-pronged attack heading up this post. I’ll go into detail about my Recruitment Policy, Youth Policy and Economic Policy. It’s a good job I named this post “The Policy” no? All these points intertwine so I thought it’d be a good idea to merge them all together in one big post. So, without further ado let’s begin!
Firstly, what does recruitment mean to me? Quite simply, purchasing players. The drive and strive to recruit the right players for a system or team is paramount to success. So how am I going to go about recruiting the right players? Well, I’m going to follow in the footsteps of a recruitment wizard and genius in the footballing world… this man.
Yes the beautiful Scot known as David Moyes. You might be asking why I was drawn to such a handsome young devil and I’ll tell you why.
What really got me hooked was reading his methods in the book “The Nowhere Men” by Michael Calvin, a thoroughly good read for anyone interested in how scouting works in the beautiful game.
Although Michael himself didn’t interview Moyes, for this excerpt, he spoke with Moyes’ head of technical scouting during his time at Everton, James Smith. Smith divulges into the system, Moyes had in place at Everton and revealed that they operated out of an office they called the “Recruitment Room.” No player was authorised to enter and only Moyes’ close personnel were allowed in. Smith briefly touched on an MOT system which every player they scouted had to go through. It is this MOT test that I’m going to use during my time at Viitorul Constanta.
So what check-marks am I going to use to create my MOT test? To start off, before I even touch the BID button, the player must be scouted until full knowledge (which is a handy new feature for this FM) This is how I’m going to line-up my MOT test. These aren’t necessarily in order, it’s just points I’ll check.
- TWD (Teamwork, Work Rate, Determination)
- Position specific attributes
- Star Rating
- Injury Proneness
So, 8 points. Each point maybe traded off in special circumstances, I’d be amazed if any player who would be willing to come to a mid-table Romanian team, would tick all these boxes.
For example, If I found a player for my Raumdeuter role, if he has the TWD and right position attributes and is not injury prone and is affordable, of course. Then I’d probably try to sign him, I’ve traded off star rating, personality and his age and impact.
I’ll briefly touch over each heading for you, so you can understand my way of thinking.
Personality: It speaks volumes in FM. If you’ve got a player who’s personality is “Slack” is he really going to put the yards in and train hard to make himself and the team better? No. I’ve got 17 personalities I’m looking for out of the 30-odd available. I won’t list them all here, but here’s a few. Model Professional, Spirited, Driven, Leader, Iron Willed and Resolute.
TWD: Pretty self-explanatory, I’m looking for at least 13 in these areas, for this level.
Position Specific Attributes: If you’ve read my post The System. I listed the attributes I’d ideally like for each position. Again, I’m looking for around the 13 mark.
Star Rating: Some people don’t even bother with star ratings. However, these scouts are your only eyes into the game unless you use editors. I’m looking for a Potential star rating of at least, 2 & half stars. If they are older (which I’ll touch on in a bit) then they must have a current rating of 3 stars.
Affordable: I can’t exactly buy a player that I can’t afford. Also, I don’t want to break the bank for a star player which will sabotage my finances.
Injury Proneness: If I buy a player, I want him to play, not be lying on the physio’s table for the season! (See: Andy Carroll)
Age: When I buy a player they must have longevity. There’s a good chance he’ll be re-sold and we need to recoup the money we splashed on him. Therefore, buying players under the age of 25 should retain their value. Any players over this age, must be bought in for minimal fees maybe a loan deal or a Bosman.
Impact: This coincides with age. Impact is how they effect my team NOW. Of course, If i’m signing a 17-year old, do I really expect him to walk into the starting XI? Probably not, However, If I’m signing a 22-25 year old, I’d want them to improve the starting XI as soon as they arrive.
The final part of my recruitment drive and also to steal another one of Moyes’ recruitment methods is to have 3 players lined up for EVERY position. Therefore, my shortlist should have at least 33 players on it. Each time a player is sold, or signs a new deal, he is removed from the list. This ensure’s if we have any nasty surprises in the transfer market, which is likely because of a young, exciting squad. We will have replacements ready and waiting.
This 33-man shortlist might take some time to build-up, remember, the quality of scouts in this league are poor. I’m allowed 7 scouts so I must use them wisely. I have a couple on regions, some scouting countries they have some knowledge about and then a few on Romania. The idea of putting 3-4 scouts in Romania is that I should pick up all decent players in my nation. Hopefully I can uncover the next Romanian Jamie Vardy.
OK, I’m going to clarify what I mean by youth policy as it could be interpreted in many ways. This is how I’m going to handle the youngsters from first birth into my U-19s to the First Team.
So when the first round of newgens come in, they’re normally between the ages of 15 to 17. They’ll spend, ideally two-three years in this stage. They’ll be given training assignments for their role, E.G. ST will be developed as a DLF. AMC will be developed as an AP. Alongside this, they’ll also learn PPMs for that specific role E.G. Centre-Back learning “Plays Simple Passes.” Ideally, he will be also given a different tutor during these 2-3 years to also aide development. However, I’m unsure if you can tutor AND learn PPMs, so this will be decided on a player-by-player basis.
After this stage, the young player should be looking pretty decent, he will be revalued. Can he contribute to the first team? If not, he goes onto another stage which is looking at potential loans, this loan must ensure game-time, otherwise there’s no point. After the first loan, he will again be asked the same question, can he contribute? If not he will go on loan for one more season to improve himself as a footballer. So 2 Loans takes this up to 4-5 years from first birth.
When those two stages are complete, I’ll look into the youth player in detail. Improvements on attributes, personality, he should only be between 19-21 so still very young with another 3-4 years growth, this will be taken into account on my final decision. I will get opinions from various staff to see what they think. Then, if he satisfies those criteria, the question will be asked. CAN HE CONTRIBUTE!? If the answer is no, he will be sold. If the answer is yes, then he’ll be straight into the senior side, given more tutoring and PPMs to refine him.
This is pretty much how I hope my youth players will go. I might sign a couple of youngsters and they will go through the same process to ensure all youth players are instilled with my philosophy of how I want to play.
The idea is, as soon as they can play in the senior side, they won’t look out of place. All the promising youngsters in the U-19 side or the II side, might get a run out every so often during cup games, to see how they handle the pressure and to aide growth.
As before, I’ll explain what this means to me. Economic policy is mainly focusing on selling & buying players and the wage budget.
This is where this post might merge, and if I repeat anything, I do apologise!
Let’s look at buying players first.
Age really affects how I look at bringing players. Re-sale value is vital to being sustainable as a club in the lower levels of football, so as I’ve said during my recruitment part of this post, older players should be bought in for minimal fees as 2-3 years down the line they’re probably over-the-hill and not worth much. Players aged 26-27 or over I’d like to, ideally, bring in on free transfers or loans. Anything under that, I’ll allow myself to spend as they can grow and 2-3 years later, will be in their prime and worth a lot more than I paid.
I won’t bang on too much about buying players as I’ve covered a shed-load in the recruitment policy, so let’s touch on selling players.
Selling players is inevitable for a club of my stature. I need to sell players to keep my financial head above water and free up funding for other things, such as facilities or improving scouting networks. If I’ve recruited right, and my youth policy is spot-on. Potentially any player in my senior squad can rake me in some dough. So how do I value a player? It’s quite simple.
Player Value + Players Total Contract Worth + Potential = Real Value.
This should hopefully make sense, I’ll explain anyway. Players value is what FM say the player is worth. His total contract worth I can only really explain by an example. So, Player A is on £1,000 a week. He has a 4-year contract with the club, therefore, his total contract worth is £208,000 because 1,000 times 52 is 52,000. 52,000 times by 4 gives me 208,000. Great. Potential is going to be an unknown value, if Player A is only 20 and his CA is 3 stars and he has a PA of 5, I’m going to add on some value there. If Player A is 28 and is at full potential, I won’t add a lot on. So let’s put this into one big example, so it all makes sense!
Player A is worth £500,000 according to FM. His contract worth is £200,000. He is only 18 and operating at a CA star rating of 2. My assistant manager believes he will be 5 star in the future, therefore, I’ll add £100,000 for every star he could fill.
So Player A’s worth to me is 500,000 + 200,000 + 300,000. So if a team comes in and bids £1,000,000, I’ll accept it and because of his young age, I’ll add re-sale clauses to ensure I get compensated for my hard-work in making him a star. Sounds fair, no?
For a club of my size, every player has to be up for sale. So even the youngsters who will be put through my regime, could be sold. They will all, however, be valued by this system.
If the club bidding doesn’t want to pay the money I want. I’ll look at instalments amongst other things, because there’s a good chance, if I reject the bid, the player will kick-off which will disrupt team harmony.
So that covers the selling part of this policy. We’re now on the home straight, so if you’ve currently got toothpicks keeping your eyelids open, the pain will be gone soon!
The last part is a short and sweet segment covering my wage system.
I’m currently employing a system used by one of my favourite bloggers, Chris Darwen. I’m sure most of you would have heard of him and his fantastic work over at the highertempopress.
I work to a REAL wage budget. Chris covers this fantastically here, so give that a read and come back for the final part.
Back? Lovely stuff. So as you can see, FM doesn’t produce a good wage budget, and having a bad waging system soon leads to financial troubles. The idea is that wages are an unavoidable outgoing and stadium income is guaranteed. So you just have to make sure that the money coming in from the fans, covers the players wages! I’m currently £3k OVER budget with my team, so I’m currently monitoring it and hoping to reduce the deficit over the next few seasons.
That’s it! I hope I’ve given you some insightful reading or, most probably, reading. Please leave comments and likes. If you really enjoyed this post, why not tweet it!? Any help is appreciated muchly! My next post should be a half-seasonally update, so we can finally sink our teeth into the actual FM world. As I said, it SHOULD be a half-seasonally update. However, my brain might have other ideas and I might want to ramble on about something else!
Til next time!