Category Archives: How-To Guides

How-To: Add English Regional Leagues

I know! A new article! Who’d have thought it?!

For some, dabbling with the editor is usually restricted to changing a couple of minor little details about a club or player, or maybe even adding themselves as a player or changing an established club into something more unique. For others, it is a scary monster that is best left undisturbed.

I was in the former camp, having played around with creating clubs and fixing errors in the original database. But with the release of Football Manager 2015, I decided I’d had enough of spending 20+ hours of reloading to get Enfield Town ‘promoted’ into the playable Conference South league. It was time to do something a little more advanced: add in Tier 7 as a playable league and Tier 8 as an inactive league for purposes of relegation/promotion.

And it was a lot easier than I thought it’d be!

Continue reading How-To: Add English Regional Leagues

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How-To: Develop Youth Products – UPDATED

As anyone who follows this blog or my twitter feed knows, my FM13 Enfield Town squad was made up entirely of players that I had developed from the clubs’ youth academy from the age of 15/16. Many of them were world class, and have led the club to multiple top level trophies, as well as being key players at international level. This is a simple guide as to how I developed these players – it really isn’t as complicated as some people will have you believe.

This guide can also apply to bought youngsters, skip to step 4 if this is the case (although Training Facilities and Coaches apply from step 1).

1 – There are a few things that the club should have in place before you even start:

Training Facilities – The better these are, the more specific individual training options are available, and improved CA distribution.*
Youth Facilities – The better they are, the better the rate of youth CA distribution.*
Junior Coaching – Affects the CA level of your Youth Intake players. The better this is, the more likely to get players with high CA.^
Youth Recruitment – The better this is, increases the pool of players that can be recruited, increasing chance of high PA players.^
Head of Youth Development – His personality and mental stats can influence the intake players. High determination and a good personality** are highly recommended.
Coaches – The more specialised your coaches, the better the training they’ll provide in that area. Aim to have one specialised coach in each category. The higher the star rating, the better the coach.

Continue reading How-To: Develop Youth Products – UPDATED

How-To: Play as an Unplayable Club – UPDATED!

More often than not, on Football Manager I start as a very small side and look to take them to Champions League glory. For most people, that means a club in the lowest playable division, or using an extended leagues database. But what if you don’t like the unreliability and instability caused by xml files, and are bored with the same old clubs in the lowest divisions? I’ve noticed that often in the blog statistics people have found the blog by searching Google on ‘how to play as’ or ‘how to manage’ Enfield Town and FC United of Manchester – two of the previously unplayable clubs I’ve managed without resorting to an editor.  This blog post is their answer!  Using the method I will detail below, you can play as any club in the division immediately below the last playable division. It will not work for any divisions below this, as promotion/relegation is set only for one division below the playable divisions.

Continue reading How-To: Play as an Unplayable Club – UPDATED!

How-To: Make Money in Football Manager

How-To: Make Money in Football Manager

For some people, winning is everything, at any cost. For others, like myself, running the club at a profit whilst achieving success is the aim. In this guide, I’ll be showing you the tips and tricks of how I turned Enfield Town from a club worth around £100k into a £1.35 billion valued megaclub.

Key points to remember:

The main principle is to keep costs low while maximising income. That sounds obvious, but implementing it while maintaining a winning squad can be difficult.

In the lower leagues, keeping the finances in the black is notoriously difficult, and while there I recommend that you don’t worry about the finances – do what you have to do to win promotions. Money is made in the top tiers, (increased attendances, more prize money/TV money, etc) so getting there as fast as possible is of the utmost importance for your finances. Also, I don’t recommend playing friendlies against huge clubs, as the battering you’ll likely take will harm player morale, which will be more costly to the club than losing the few thousand pounds more in the bank that the gate receipts may generate.

Spending money isn’t always bad! Youth facility upgrades should always be a priority despite the initial cost – bringing through your own players saves on transfer fees which can be much more than the costs of the facilities in the long run, and even if the player doesn’t make it, you can sell them for a profit (more on that later). Also stadium upgrades will make you money in the long term as your fanbase grows, and through upgraded corporate facilities, which will help earn bigger sponsorship deals. Continue reading How-To: Make Money in Football Manager

How-To: Staff Search

How-To: Staff Search

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A simple guide to finding your next staff member!

Many people ask who the best staff are for X role, etc. But I think it is better to teach a man the skills and give him some bricks rather than build the house for him. So here is a short guide with the attributes to search for to find your backroom staff.

First things first, the most important thing to understand when staff searching – DDM:

DETERMINATION – DISCIPLINE – MOTIVATING

They are the key attributes to find and they transfer across all of the coaching roles. A coach can have 20’s in Attack and Tactical Coaching, for example, but will only be an average Attack coach without decent DDM, and it is essential to have high DDM in able to be a top star-rated coach.

So without further ado, here’s what you should look for: Continue reading How-To: Staff Search

How-To: Understand and use Player Roles and Duties

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So you’ve now picked the Formation and set the Team Instructions, but what roles do I pick for the players? I hear you ask. So here is a follow-up guide which continues what I started in my Making Your First Tactic guide.

I always start from the back and work my way forward, and it’ll be no different here. Most of the choices regarding role will be based on three variables – formation, team instructions and player ability.

Also, this will be heavily biased towards a flat four defensive system, as it is the safest and easiest beginner setup to learn.

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You have two options here, Goalkeeper and Sweeper Keeper

A regular Goalkeeper role is preferable most of the time, but if playing a high defensive line and possess an intelligent, fast ‘keeper, the Sweeper Keeper will mop up loose balls and aim to recycle possession from the edge of his box and beyond.

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Your choice of setup here will more-than-likely be more biased towards player ability than tactical choice initially.

The Central Defender role is your all round, general Centreback, and will more often than not be the default choice for many managers. In regards to duty, there are a few possible combinations that work well depending on the type of player available. A Covering CB will sit deeper and mop up through balls and other loose balls, whereas a Stopper will look to step forward and intercept the ball before it becomes a danger. The Stopper/Cover can be used together with two intelligent defenders to form a very solid partnership. When not using a Stopper, I like to use a covering defender alongside a regular ‘Defend’ CB, though two regular defenders is also a sound tactical choice too.

The Limited Defender role is for less-able defenders who have limited concentration, composure and decision-making. Generally, this role is best limited to the Defend duty and lower-league defenders.

Ball-Playing Defenders will look to play the ball out of defence and are more technically and creatively gifted than regular defenders. They will recycle possession effectively and look to start counter-attacks. This role is most effective with a Stopper duty, winning the ball early and moving it on. Continue reading How-To: Understand and use Player Roles and Duties

How-To: Make Your First Tactic

This isn’t a definitive guide, but it’s a place to start. Always watch as much of the match as possible to see what is working and what is not. When changing things, do it one thing at a time so that you can see its effect – too many changes and you won’t see what has worked and what hasn’t…

Also, pay particular attention to the mid-lower table team instructions when in lower leagues – mid table instructions if you’re in a lower league but a decent team within that league, bottom half instructions if you’re in a lower league and predicted/expect mid-table or lower. Continue reading How-To: Make Your First Tactic