Bringing through the next generation of world-class stars is one of Football Manager 2021’s most appealing features. Each year, FM fans spend countless hours improving every part of their youth set-up to get the best youth intakes, but it can be a tricky thing to master.
There are things you can do to improve your youth intakes in FM 21. These will increase the prospect of a ‘golden generation’ or two for your club, but you won’t get quality players every single year. Just be aware that you will get a poor pool of youth players sometimes even if you have the greatest academy in the world. Implementing these steps will help to get you more good years than bad, though, so use them to boost your chances.
The first thing you will need is a top-class Head of Youth Development. They oversee every part of your youth set-up, including judging how good a youth player can be, working well with youngsters to help them fulfil that potential, and making you aware of which young stars need more training to reach the levels they are capable of. Like players, staff have attributes that can range from one to 20. A statistic of one means they are awful at that job, while 20 means they are world-class.
You want a Head of Youth Development with 20s, or as close as possible, in the attributes highlighted in the image above. They will also need their Determination stat to be higher than 15, which will make them more determined to improve your youngsters. Finally, their reputation is just as important. A five-star rated staff member is better than a two-star one. Having a bigger reputation means that starlets are more likely to say yes to being recruited by your club to work with your world-class Head of Youth Development.
Next, you will want to improve your Youth Facilities. You can check how good your club’s facilities are by heading to Club Info on the left-hand menu and scrolling down for Youth Facilities. If they are anything less than superb, you will need to improve them. To do so, head to Finances and look to the right for “Make Board Adjustment”. Click on the drop down menu, open the Facilities tab, and select “Improve Youth Facilities”. You will talk to your board about this and, if you say the right things and the board has enough money, they will grant your request. Improving your Youth Facilities will give your starlets, well, better facilities to work in, which will improve them further.
Another vital component is improving your Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment. You can request improvements by selecting the “Networking” and “Finance” options of “Make Board Adjustment”. Youth Recruitment will increase your club’s international range and enable your staff to find the best wonderkids to bring to your club. Meanwhile, Junior Coaching determines how good each youth intake will be based on how hard your staff works them before they arrive.
Lastly, improving your club’s overall reputation will persuade wonderkids to join you. You can boost this by winning trophies, increasing your revenue, opening a pathway for young players to progress from your youth teams to your first-team squad, and improving everything we listed above. Wonderkids are more likely to want to join a club with a world-class reputation, so start winning silverware and boosting your side’s standing in world soccer to help enlist them.