FM14 Wishlist: Youth Academies, changes to Youth intake and revamp regens
When working on our FM14 wishlist thread we come up with some great ideas, that we wish to give the full attention it deserves in this post. These ideas are part of our Football Manager 2014 wishlist for new features, so you better bookmark the main thread, as it will be updated continuously until the release of Football Manager 2014.
In this sub-thread to the previously mentioned wishlist we will discuss some changes to the annual youth intake in regard to new generated players, also known as regens and most importantly the creation of youth academies to improve the level of regens coming through.
Football Manager 2014 - Youth Academies a new feature?
Did you know Football Manager 2013 has tens of different youth academies? Unfortunately these youth academies have almost no impact or importance locally or in their region. So why add them into the database, when they're nothing but a cool add-on to see, such as the Ghanaian Right to Dream Academy, formed by ex-scout Tom Vernon. Of course I would have wished these youth academies had more importance in the game, either by being able to have them as feeder clubs, or that some of them attract some of the best local youth talents in regard to 14 to 16 year old regens generated. But that's not how it is today, as I can recall.
The top 10 youth academies in real life soccer have been discussed here, but my wish is that Football Manager 2014 incorporates the ability to create independent youth academies, which are closely linked to your club.
In FM13 you get new, generated players from nations you got scouting knowledge of. The annual youth intake will promote both local regens and regens from foreign countries. You can read more about how to get the best regens in the yearly youth intake here. For Football Manager 2014 I wish there are some important changes to make the game even more realistic!
My idea is simply to be able to create your own youth academy in Football Manager 2014. Let's say you are managing Monaco in FM14 and have some extra money to spend, you choose to build your own youth academy with your boards approval. Creating a new youth academy will of course be a massive expenditure to your finances, but as I see it the cost will depend on the requested youth facilities and which area of the world you want to build it in.
You then choose which place you want to build it in, either locally, nationally or even within a specific region or foreign country. After getting approval to build it, you will then be able to choose what the academy should focus on in regard to working areas; attacking, defending, tactical, technique, or positional training like goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders or attackers. The more advanced, the higher costs. Of course your youth academy will produce all kinds of players, no matter their working area, but some of your players will hopefully be better educated in regard to their player attributes and player roles. For a lower league club that only has the finances to choose a balanced working area within the youth academy will have general junior coaches compared to the youth academies with more advanced working area such as extra focus to technical training.
This way the youth development of regens will be more attached to your football philosophy and how the club wishes to play in the future.
These youth academies will feature young players between the age of 13 and 16, normally regens, but can also consist of young players who have not gained a contract with a local club and wish to improve their skills by attending a football school. As soon as these players reach either a specific limit of ability or you get a recommendation from your junior coaches about one of the players in the youth academy, you will be able to sign the player on a youth candidate contract. This way they will be in the pool for the targets who qualify for the annual day of youth intake, which I like to see some adjustments to as well.
Youth intake day is fast approaching!
Let's say the date of the youth intake is approaching and one to two months ahead I would like the ability to request for a talent assembly, which invites local talents and some of the regens from the youth academies to join a week of extensive elite training in your youth department (with the expertise of your youth coaches and some of your players). Normally this happens every year between April and August. You will then be able to send your scout, assistant manager or even attend the talent collection to supervise some of the talents. Perhaps you will discover the new Romario or Bebeto?
This way the youth intake and youth development will be a more comprehensive process. You can monitor your junior players for a longer period of time and be able to influence the process of picking the best suited talents. The changes might force Sports Interactive to change the regen dates slightly, but I don't feel it's realistic to get them for example in March (for Holland), as you have not even played the game a full season. You can see all dates for Football Manager 2013 in the previous link.
A Controversial idea: Option to Disable regens
Personally, there is nothing more unrealistic in Football Manager 2013 than regens and their player attributes according to age compared to the young promising talents and future wonderkids from the official database. From time to time I often come across regens with great technical and physical attributes. I can understand that they are important for the future seasons of the game, but normally there are already many young players under the age of 19 from start. By revamping how the regens are being produced, and when they come out, it will hopefully force you to spend time developing your talents more carefully. In Football Manager 2013 there are being produced a great number of regens with good amount of potential within the second half of the first season. I guess many of you have discovered the amount of good regens that are three to four seasons out in the game, not far out if you considered the age (20-21) of the youngest talents from season 1 (those 15-16yo talents). The truth is that is gets harder to sell /loan out your average (read 2 star) young talents players, as the access is always high for better talents.
By being able to disable the regens for your managing club for one, two or even three seasons, for example if you are managing a bigger club and can afford to either buy new talents or wish to develop some of the under-18 players within your squad. Normally when new regens are being produced many of the people within the Football Manager community rush out and try to buy some of the best regens produced from the annual youth intake. Average talents (future real life national players) are forgotten quickly and either loaned out or released for free. By having the option to disable regens either in your managing club or for all eligible leagues within your save will increase the difficulty level, since it makes a bigger battle for the top talents and some clubs will rely on loaning new talents instead of getting free regens every season!
I know this idea is somehow controversial as "everybody" loves to find excellent regens and develop them into world class players early on, so I'm also open for setting a player attribute limit according to their age and let these junior talents instead increase their level of improvement from one age to another f.ex from 14 to 16 more massively.
No matter what I wish the regens will be revamped in Football Manager 2014 and that we will see some changes perhaps to the generated faces and when they are produced and how!
If you got better solutions, don't be afraid to post them in the comment field below!
And watch out for more feature request for FM14 in the future!