Hello, welcome back to the second part of this series looking at creating a recruitment model within your club on Football Manager.
If you haven’t already then I would advise that you take a minute (or eight) to go and read the first part of this series where we looked through the initial steps that I take when starting a new save to assess my squad and build a list of priorities in terms of recruitment.
One of the most important groups of people at any football club are the scouts. The scouts are the men or women who will go out and assess players for you before submitting reports that you should use as the basis for your recruitment portfolio. Incidentally if you are reading this and have not read the excellent book ‘The Nowhere Men’ by Michael Calvin then I cannot recommend it highly enough the book takes a look inside the world of scouting.
Obviously I have an advantage over some given the type of club that Southampton are and I currently have 15 scouts employed. I’m sure that most of you are already aware of the key attributes to consider when looking for a new scout with judging player ability and judging player potential the most important. On top of those I usually look for high attributes in working with youngsters and adaptability although I’m sure that those are just personal preferences of mine.
So all 15 of my scouts have relatively high values for judging ability and potential. How though do I maximise this network to get the best results for the club? Well, currently my assignments screen looks something like this;
Obviously since I am playing as an English side I have the impending decision on brexit to look forward to at some point in the future. That means that my scouting coverage of England has to be high at the moment to allow me to find undervalued young players that have the potential to develop going forwards. This leaves the first phase of my scouting network looking like this;
Bill Green – England
Rod Ruddick – England U23’s & England U18’s
Jim Flood – Sky Bet Championship & Sky Bet League One
All three of these scouts will rotate through the country fulfilling their relevant roles. The hope is that from Ruddick and Flood we get at least one or two prospective signings that can bolster the squad as a whole.
Next I turn my attention to the other playable leagues that I have loaded in game. Having these leagues thoroughly scouted means that I can better apply my analytical filter to any potential targets since they will generate statistics in game that can be relied upon.
Francesco Cutro – Italy
Michel Rabiat – France
Dieter Nussing – Germany
Chris Welman – Belgium
Derek Langley – Portugal
Andreas Fehse – Spain
The next step that we have is to identify the key regions around the world for us to send scouts in to. To begin with I am not interested in covering the entire globe as the returns from certain regions can be negligible and easily checked through manual scouting as and when required.
Wolfgang Geiger – Central Europe
Loic Perard – Scandinavia
John McKenna – Southern Europe
Wayne Stephens – Eastern Europe
Joe McLaren – South America
I also have a scout assigned to check my upcoming opposition for any tactical trends that I need to be aware of prior to the match. Each of the assignments above are created and given the ‘ongoing’ timeframe to ensure that the scouts are never sitting idle. I also add filters to ensure that I only receive reports on players between 15 and 24 years old and that have at least a three star potential rating.
So, we have scouts out producing reports but the next step is to condense that in to a workable recruitment portfolio that suits the needs of your club and of course your tactical system.
My own preference to mange this is to check all of the reports from each assignment on the first day of each new month. This is very much just a first check of the reports and any player that catches my eye then gets scouted more thoroughly by my director of football (Les Reed) who follows the player until I have a full profile. They are also added to my position specific shortlists for a period of time.
As you can see the initial reports screen is fairly basic and is not filtered in any specific way. I use it purely to identify my initial targets going forward.
These shortlists then form my initial recruitment portfolio for the club. I prefer to separate them by position both to keep everything tidy and to allow me to add in my own specific filters both for attributes and for statistics.
As I mentioned previously I do these checks monthly throughout the game and prior to both transfer windows I start to run more detailed filtered checks on any potential targets prior to possibly making a bid.
So, in the first article of this series we performed age profiling on the squad as a whole and identified two initial recruitment needs for the club going forwards.
1) A Central Defender in the 21-25 age range
2) A Striker in the 22-24 age range
The reason that I put specific age ranges on these needs is that I don’t want to block the development pathway of our younger players currently at the club. I prefer to use a mixture of recruitment and youth development to build my squad. I am currently at the start of November in game so we can take a quick look at the shortlists for our recruitment needs as they stand at the moment.
Ok, so we currently have ten players on the shortlist at the moment. Since we are only a matter of weeks from the first in depth filtered check on these players then I don’t expect to add more than one or two players to this shortlist.
There are some interesting names on there with Eloge Yao in particular not a player that I have came across before but early signs are promising given that I am looking for an athletic centre back to fit with my tactical system.
It is a noticeable trend so far that strikers may be harder to source to fit with my desired profile. The price for some of those that have made the shortlist so far looks to be prohibitive despite the relative riches that the TV revenue will provide whilst managing in England. Luckily I don’t plan to actually buy anyone in the first winter transfer window so there Is still time for more names to be added to the list.
That said I believe that Saido Berahino is coming to the end of his contract and the possibility to sign him on a pre contract agreement may come open.
As I play through more of the season I will obviously be continuously assessing the quality of my squad in terms of their performances and statistical outputs. This is something that I will go in to in more depth in my next post in this series and obviously this can lead to other recruitment needs coming to light as we progress. That is why it is important to check reports for all positions and not only those that you have identified as being immediate needs.
In my next post I will look at the progress of the squad so far and whether there are any additional recruitment requirements before going on to assess those on the relevant shortlists from an analytical viewpoint looking at both their attributes and statistics.
As ever thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments then please use the comments box below.