2016-07-08 12:12

Chapter 08 - Manage your Youth Academy roster
Version 1.2.0 - 03.07.2018

To build a good or even great football team, the Youth Academy will be a huge help to get good players.

As a first strategy all coaches can decide to

Don't Do IT!
That means, you can ignore the Youth Academy completely.
This does result in fewer expenses for the academy and less management effort on your roster regarding training and you are free to concentrate on different coaching tactics and facility setups.
On the other side of that path you don't get a few good or great prospects each season and you don't get additional players you might be able to sell on top.
Beside that you have to deal with the problem to get players from somewhere each season and since you are left with transfer market and draft, it's pretty sure you will spend a lot of time on the transfer market.
That don't have to be a bad thing and also not really an expensive one, but it bears the risk to get only the player you find and can afford, not the ones you would like to have.

As long time veteran manager I would never suggest to work with that strategy, but it exists!

If you decide to use the Youth Academy at full level, here are some strategies for you.

Your coaching strategy will determine the upper and lower limit of any path you might chose here.
You can forget to have the fastest developing players when you have only ACs on CP 50s level.
On the other end you can forget to build all players rapidly by assigning extra training points to the max, if you have only 6 ACs.
You coaches will define the training speed on regular training and their amount as ACs and the CP-points of your HC will define the average amount of extra training points.
With this in mind, you can try to optimize the output of your academy.

The Greater the better:
With this you try to have 1 or 2 youth players per season which become starters very fast (or at least valuable backups) and are way better than your 1st round draft pick.
This means you will get your youth players at some point with an age between 16 and 20 and will try to get his physicals capped quickly, which is a general rule.
But then you will try to dump as many points into your 1-2 best players per season to have them on a high level once season rollover comes.
Keep in mind, there are 24 updates per season.
Depended on your coach setup, this can be a lot of points and you might be able to get a player with an average of 25 or even 35 on all his A-skills and maybe even B-skills, especially when you focus on just 1 player per season.
Sounds great?
There is a catch.
Just calculate 10 seasons you have for sure of a player with age 20, you get 10 players in 10 seasons.
Add 3 draftees per season and maybe 40% of them all playing with 30+, you get 56 players.
That's barely enough to fill all needed positions.
Not all draftees will be ready to play, or even worth a roster spot, and not always you have 40% of 30+ old players still wanting to play. In total the roster gets very thin.
So you need some extra players.
You can buy them on the market, or you can try to find a compromise between 1 superstar player per season and maybe 2 very good ones.
I would assume that 2 very good ones can compensate a draft bust per season.
If you try to get 3 or more, you will end up on a different strategy.
The good thing with this strategy is, you will be very lucky to have a lot of young talents between 16 and 19 and can sell or fire the bad ones, once they become 19 or 20.
You just need 1 or 2 with age 20 and can therefore use 20 spots on the next generations.
Lots of players to choose from, if you find some.

Keep the revolver loaded:
If you aim for 3-5 players per season out of your Youth Academy, this is the way to go.
Find them, cap them and boost them.
But only as long as it's needed and where it's needed.
Depended on your training output and your extra training points you might be able to have some players leaving the academy with an average of 20 to 25 on all A-skills and maybe even the B-Skills without putting a single extra training point into them.
That saves points for the other ones.
Chances are good you can do this with those positions which do not require a lot of skills. QBs, RB, WR, LB, CB, SF and K, P or even K/P hybrids are candidates for such a job.
For all the rest, dump the extra points into them, until they are projected to be on that average level of 20 to 25 at season rollover.
The level aimed for at season rollover is very important, because such players might need only a few boosts, like 2 or 3 updates and extra points and will then reach that level on their own by regular training. You need to calculate that or make an educated guess.
Don't push them to 20+ for all skills during the season and then look for the next guy, because that means you did put too many points already in that first player.
He will leave the academy way higher than level 20 and that means some other guy will eventually not make the cut.
If you do this right you get really 3-5 players per season and under the same math as above you get up to 70 players out of that school in 10 seasons, plus up to 30 draftees, which means you can sell or fire the worst ones and you still have more players than the 70 roster spots can take.
Under such conditions, you can have 2-4 starter worth players on every position, a lot of backups and a lot of prospects waiting to become backups and once a player leaves for retirement, the next in line will be there and you will fill this gap the next season out of the YA and the draft, keeping the revolver loaded and ready.
But of course there is a catch.
This takes a lot of time and you also won't find all players you might need, or you won't be able to train them as you would like to.
Using up to 5 spots on the 20 year old players will leave the rest spots for fewer prospects which might not be good enough on their physicals.
There is also a chance that the players you would like to sell doesn't get much attention, because he is not good enough, yet.
You will likely only sell the worst of your class each season and those will maybe not getting all the buzz on the market. You will also very likely only later sell the worst of your old timers and mid level players, once you have a replacement or you need to make cuts for roster spots. Also those won’t get the same attention as Superstars.

Buy a star:
Not sure how many do this, but if you buy a draftee with age of 19 or 20 and you have a spot in the youth academy, you will be able to pimp him.
This will cost you some money, but the good thing is you will not be bothered with dumping too many extra training points into him.
So this is basically possible with 1 to 5 players out of your YA per season, only with the catch that you need an open spot to work with and you need the money to buy them.
There might be even a profit possible in that business, but it's a risky business.
Best bet from my side is, to use this for your personal roster and if you like to sell players, sell your other youth players or draft busts.

Ignore the young ones:
This is not proven to work, but it should, even with the new introduced premium youth academy the EXP gain of one season might be worth more than a few roster spot.
But let’s discuss the approach.
In general you are looking for young players, 16 years or 17 years old and you will try to get their red caps fast. The reason not going for older players is, they normally lack the physicals they should be trained to on that level already and they become a major gamble. Those 18+ players might have already some good A- or B-Skills, but they still need all the time available to get the caps known and that means you know only after 1 to 2 seasons, that the promising youth player is not so promising and you have to cut him at age of 20.
But it can happen that you do find 17 years old players which are as good or even better than former 16 year olds you had in your YA for a season or more.
It's pure math: You can assume around 15+ skill points per season (without premium YA), so if you find a 17 year old with the same values as a 16 year old plus 15+ points (in general on physicals), it would have been irrelevant to have the 16 year old on the roster for a season (except the EXP gain and effects on TC and PC).
The 17 year old would be valued the same, but he wouldn't have blocked a roster spot for a season.
So this strategy does say, ignore the 16 year olds and star with 17 year olds.
Instead of having 5 different ages on the YA-roster, you just have 4, giving each age category an additional player in average.
The catch is you might not find enough of that category worth a second thought.
Of course you can try to buy some on the transfer market, but that's also no sure thing and might get expensive.
I do try this approach since around a season or two and there are some issues you have to tackle.
Yes, with the premium academy activated (don’t know whether this also works without it) you get quite good players with higher age, I even got players age 19 or 20, which were better than any players I had a long time in the YA.
But on the other hand you do lose the EXP gain, the TC gain, the PC gain and fraction of training you have on other skill training when training 90% physicals. That might sound not much, but add up 24 updates per season and have around 1 skill point per season on that other skill, you have around 5+ points extra on those skills, and on skills you want to be trained.
The fresh 20 year old physical monster does eventually also have those points, but on a skill you don’t want to be that high, like PAS for a LB, which does give them a value of actually zero.
With the faster training progress this is now even harder to find the right guys at 17 to compensate the year of development of a 16 year old but still, you can find good players and this looks like a valid strategy.

General 2:
With that in mind, here are some tips to work with.
The rule of thumb for physical
A rule of thumb is, you get 15+ skill points per season out of your training and the most of that will go into the physical skills. 20 points are even possible, thanks to the new enhanced training progress.
My former rule was 10+ skill points per season and with that there was a way for an easy check.
Check physicals and Age -> 16 years start at season start with a minimum of 50 points in physicals (sum of SPE, STR and AGI) to be worth a spot, during the season this does rise until 60 at age of 17 at season rollover, and so on, with 18 at sum of values of 70, 19 at 80 and 20 at 90 points in theory.
As a formula you might use 50 + (# total trainings per season – # remaining trainings per season)/2 to check a value of a player during the season.

But with the new enhanced training progress this is no longer valid. So far we did not have a full season under the new condition, so it’s hard to tell, but what I did see, a year in the Academy will bring more than a usual player with a year older brings as initial value.
Still, the rule above can help you to judge the players a bit better. More is always good, but less than the values I did write up are a reason to overthink the selection. On the other hand it is now not that bad to s e l e c t a player with less skill points, because the training progress is now that fast.

Now Check TW -> everything below 35 is normally a no-go for me, because if training speed and the missing or lesser PC u p d a t e on season rollover.
The player with the highest physical value compared to his age and highest TW gets the spot, which is normally a 16 or 17 year old one.
Remember that a player on a position you have an AC on does get a bonus!
So if 2 players are almost equal on paper and that weaker one is from an AC-position, the other not? Take the guy from the AC-position, if the gap is not too big between the 2 players!
Normally it does not come down to that situation, normally you just have 1 to 2 players worth a second look and it’s quite easy to decide and the bonus is only relevant if 1 of the players is on a non-supported position and even then the situation is most of the time quite clear, because the physicals do normally differ heavily and the decision is most of the time good physicals and lesser TW against lesser physicals and good TW. Good TW do in general make up those missing physicals, especially if this is an AC position player.
If no player does fall into that roster and there are some great TW-players age of 18+?
Take one of those and hope for a special trait player or a hidden gem.
You might dump points in him to get him on the same level as your other players, or sell him, if possible. For me that almost never worked regarding keeping him, but maybe I’m just not willing to spend big on extra points on physicals.

As soon as the physicals are known in detail, try to find potential positions for him.
Because once you did decide which position he will play, you might stop training him on unneeded skills.

The non-physical skill training
In general, while you do train physicals, it's best to train VIS and/or POS as non-physical skill.
All positions do need those skills as A-Skills or B-Skills and those 10% per training do add some points over several seasons. I usually take VIS first and only POS if VIS reaches a level of 22+ points already, because VIS is good for all positions, including K/P and QBs.

Don’t bother pimping physicals
You can use the extra training points also to speed up the physical cap finding process (until the player does reach a skill value of 35), but I don’t suggest this. Imagine the following scenario and you will see why I’m no fan of this.
You pull a great 16 year old player with nice INT, TW, Talent and maybe a Trait or even two. His physicals are summed up at 55 at season start and you decide to push SPE. So you train SPE and when he gets to 31 the skill gets yellow capped. You switch to STR and decide to push that also with extra training points. At value 32 the STR skill gets also yellow capped. Now you have dumped something of 10 to 20 extra training points into your youth player and you just figured out that he will be a 36/37 player, which is on every roster normally a cut victim. Those extra training points are gone and you have to start with an additional player, again.
You can push physicals per extra points only to 35 anyway, so after that, if they are uncapped, you still need to train them further and you are still at risk to have a 41/41 player.

Use your extra points wisely
The best way to use the training points is to boost the final development of your player which does leave the YA at season rollover. You KNOW his purpose, his caps, his skill needs. Perfect.
I suggest dumping the points on those skills your facilities don’t support often or your facilities or even your ACS do not support at all, which means you use your normal training with that 10% or even 21% bonus for some of his skills (like VIS or POS) and you use the training points on those without a bonus (like FOO or BLO or TAC).
Why that?
Of course you could also dump all points and the regular training on one or two skills, but this will make your player more expensive than a more balanced approach. A player leaving the YA with one or two skills at level 30+ is way more expensive than a player with a value of 20 on several skills.

Of course this is depends on your take and your goals with the YA, your players development strategy and with that specific player.
If you do only dump points on 20 year old players or already position bound 19 year old, you won’t waste any extra training points, which should be the goal. The rest is up to you.

Because of the TW value (35+), you should also not consider dumping extra training points on PC, even if it is possible until a certain level. You get PC on season rollover and you can deal with the missing rest later. The extra training points are way too valuable to boost PC.

Switching positions
Keep in mind that you can switch positions inside the YA as often as you like. So it makes sense to use the best AC you have supporting all physicals (like DL or LB) to train all players which need to find the caps. This will give you the fastest training.
Next, when the caps are known and you decided on the players position, switch his position to the best AC which does support one or two needed skills the best way and switch the position again, when you need to train a different skill later. Always use the fastest training on that skill.
Example: You have player and a great DL-AC. You use him to train the physicals of that player until STR and SPE do cap. Now you see, he might become a good OL, but you have only an OL coach 75% the CP value of the DL-AC and a FB-AC worth 80% of that value. You decide to train the player further on the DL-spot to train VIS and POS until they hit the value 20. Once you are satisfied with the values you do switch to FB to train your future OL in BLO, slightly faster than he would have been with the OL-AC. When you did reach BLO at 20 you switch the player back to DL to train him in FOO as fast as possible.
If you would have trained him on the OL spot right from the start, he wouldn’t have been able to train all skills the same speed. Never.
So switching positions is a useful tool to optimize your training.
Remember that the AC-limitations on supported players are not relevant for YA-players.

The Premium Youth Academy
This is very new and the effects are not that clear yet.
Still I got on my trainings an increase of 0.1 to 0.4 on regular training and a boost on my extra training points of about 25 points per update.
Of course this is depended on my Coaches setup, but the numbers are promising.
It is also advertised to add more EXP and TC on your players, per update.
The whole thing does cost 500.000$ per u p d a t e or 12.000.000$ the season which is a huge financial risk.
This is not a tool to play with, without thinking about the money.
You can deactivate it every week, but if you like to activate it again you have to play the same setup fee as for the first time, 2.500.000$. So don’t switch it on and off weekly. ;-)
Overall this can be a very useful tool, since it will help to find the caps faster and it will also produce better players, because the EXP gain will be for sure good over several seasons summed up.
Still you need the money to effort it and only time will tell, if it can be supported long time.
At the moment my estimation for this season and the next is all red. Lucky me I have some substance to burn. But for sure I will change my training and roster management approach a bit to keep the premium academy and to keep my roster on a high level.
Overall it seems I can get my YA-Players on a slightly higher level than prior to that premium youth academy introduction. From average 20 skill value to 22 skill value before training progress enhancement and no likely to 25+ skill value easily since season 30 plus EXP gain and TC gain. (Based on my coaches setup of course, this are just numbers to have some sort of example) I had to adjust my highest CP-level –ACs down by 1 or 2 points to save some money, but overall it did not hurt that much. And my figures are always +/- zero, so no big gains and no big losses so far.
The EXP gain does now in season 30 start to pay off big time, I have 20 year old players with EXP of 3.5*+ leaving, which is great of course and most do have TC of 100% aready.

Young Transfers
If you buy a young player age of 20 or younger and you have a spot inside the YA free, the player will join the YA, not your senior roster. Players of age 16 and 17 will join only the YA, so better have in that case a spot free. You need the spot on the daily u p d a t e available when they players movement is finalized. In need you will have to fire a YA member a day before the update.
Be careful with the auction end time, because sometimes this is close and prior to the u p d a t e date and that would mean you buy the player and then lose him on the same night during update.
The 18 to 20 year old ones can become a problem for 2 reasons.
Both are linked to the same problem, the limit on sending YA players to senior team.
First major problem is the limit itself.
If you did already used your limits or you already did plan to use all chances on existing YA players, the added new player from the transfer market (or one of your existing YA players destined to be send to senior team) will not get promoted. This is normally a problem for 20 year olds but can also be a problem with younger ones.
If you don’t have the maximum level of your Youth Academy already you can enhance it and get additional chances, but once you reached the maximum there is no chance to deal with this problem except to sell a player out of your YA, if you don’t want to lose him without a profit. The premium YA does NOT add additional chances, so don’t activate it for THAT reason.
The second major problem is season rollover.
It can happen in the same context, but before season rollover you do also have the problem, that 1 week prior rollover the transfer market gets closed for new offers, so it can happen that you do buy a new 20 year old which joins the YA, you don’t have any chances left for promotion and you can’t sell him prior rollover because of closed transfer market.
Now that’s bad luck!
Except the YA-upgrade there is nothing you can do if this already did happen and the player is already on your roster. Nothing. But ff the player will join in the next u p d a t e (so the auction was won, but the transfer itself was yet not executed), THEN you still have a chance.
What to do?
Buy more youth players which do also join next update. Normally there are plenty available.
What happens now is: Lottery!
Assuming you did add that one desired 20 year old and you did also buy an additional 18-20 year old joining the same night to close the open YA spot you have a 50/50 chance of keeping the 20 year old, because the engine will put whomever it processed first into the YA and the other one will land on the senior roster. If you buy even more players, you can even have a 66/33 chance or higher.
The best way to avoid this stuff is to close the spot a day before the desired 20 year old does arrive and all is fine. Buy a player for a few bucks and fire him a few days later or if you have still a YA player on your scout list, s e l e c t one and close the gap.

Now what to do with more open gaps?
Buy more young players to fire later. Because otherwise that desired young player will end up on your YA roster and you can never get him to senior roster. Never.

So be a manager and manage your roster, carefully.

forward to Chapter 09 - The lottery of the draft
back to Chapter 07 - Roster Management over the seasons

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