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Zooming in on the Youth Academy improvements

2007-12-07 14:00:00

The Youth Academies were closed almost all Monday for a much needed update, explained in Tuesday’s editorial “Changes to the Youth Academy”. This is a follow-up on Tuesday’s editorial especially written for you who want the full description of what we did and what we have in mind for the future for the academies.

When you read this, the first step of the Youth Academy fix has already taken place. We have improved the levels of existing players in the youth system, as well as fixing the formulas for creating new youth players to the same, and higher, new levels. This is a level of quality that will give managers a better chance to produce reasonable youth players.

The principles of the player update:

* Both current skills and potential has been boosted. Players that already had a high potential gained less new potential than low potential players. This is because we are quite happy with the "roof" values, but less so with the time it takes to fulfill player potentials.

* The boost of current skills is decided in relation to the player potential. The higher the potential, the higher the gap between current skills and potential can be. If you are really good, you will always need to train a lot to achieve your potential.

* The boost of current skills also takes into consideration the time each player has spent in the Youth Academy - the longer the better.

* While the boost looks different for every player, for no player the outcome is negative.

Details of the training change:

* The speed of training has been increased for the youth team. Like in the regular squad, lower skills train faster than high skills, and young players train faster than older ones. Everything else equal, players will still train a bit faster in the Youth Academy than in the regular team.

* We are increasing the bonus you get for using two training types at the same time in the Youth Academy. The combined effect will now be 25 % higher, not just 10 % higher.

* Stamina and general training are removed as options from the Youth Academy. When playing match all youth players will have the same stamina. When youth players are promoted to the senior team their stamina skill will be around weak to inadequate (this will also be valid for youth players pulled from the old random system).

* Stamina and form will not be factors in Youth Academy games. This solves two issues: It removes alternatives to skill training, thus increasing the training speed. It also makes it easier for managers to analyze the progress of their Youth Academy players.

* Youth players will still be a bit unpredictable when it comes to the performance in games. Their performance in a game will be close to their current skill most of the time, but it can also reach close to their full potential. This gives you an idea what players "have more in them".

* Keepers will have more potential in Defending than they had before, but their starting skill will be quite low.

* Set pieces will have limited room for improvement. If you don't train it all, your players will end up with less Set Pieces than in the "old" youth system. If you do train it, you will in most cases end up with better Set Pieces compared to the old system.

* Individual training has been made a lot more efficient. With this training type, there is no team training but every player will train one of the skills used at the position he has played. Individual training is still less efficient than team training.

* When a player is promoted, he will get a boost toward his maximum potential. This boost is dependent on age. 17 year old players will receive no boost at all, the older the player is the bigger the boost. This reflects that the player is more mature and better prepared to take on regular team action.

Coming attractions
As soon as possible (at the start of next season at the latest), we will put in place the next step of our fix. This will focus more on the interface of the Youth Academy, and the tools managers have to analyze their players. This is not a final description of the coming features, we may still make changes to them.

* When looking at a candidate for your youth team, you will get more information from the scout - and more useful information at that.

- The scout will give the potential of one skill out of the three highest potential skills.
- The scout will give the current skill of one out of the three highest potential skills.
- The scout may indicate players that have good starting values in two skills. This could be called an indication for multi-skilled training candidates.
- In some cases Speciality will be reported.
- In some cases the Character value of the player may be reported.

* The training reports will also be remodelled.

- The trainer will give the skill of one player in the team for every training type you choose. If you train scoring, the current scoring value of one player in the team will be reported. If you train the same in both primary and secondary training, you will receive data on one player only. There is also a chance that the best potential of this training type is reported.
- If the gap between current skill and potential ("What is left to train") drops below one whole skill level, it will be reported. This notification may also be given when there are 2 or 3 levels left to train.
- You will get a chance to learn the total training type left on a certain player.
- If a player was trained but did not improve at all ("Reached his potential") this will always be reported.
- The trainer might tell you the Speciality of the player, or that the player has no Speciality.
- The character of the player may be reported.

Again, this is not a final list and we might add or remove some of these notifications, but the general idea is that it will be easier to evaluate what the information is worth and, in some cases, easier to predict what kind of information will be reported given the choices of the manager.

To summarize, we think the new revised Youth Academy will work closer to our original intentions for the system. It will allow you to decide what kind of players you want to create for your team, and to choose between training a few players a lot or to promote many players at levels close to those of the "old" system. Now, the choice will be up to you.

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