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With home-grown players to the top (2)

Four years ago, I wrote “With home-grown players to the top” (13392). In that article, I predicted that within 15 seasons, I would rise to the top leagues, without buying any players. Almost 15 seasons have passed since I started this project. Time to evaluate!

In 2010, after having played Hattrick for five years, I was forced to start all over again. With my new club I decided to make my own home-grown team plan. At first, the whole idea of playing without any players from outside was just for fun, but after a while, I calculated that with my plan, I should be able to get very decent ratings. I wrote it all down in the HTP-article mentioned before, published in 2011 (13392).

I calculated that 1) I should be able to get 448 hatstats and that 2) I would compete in the highest leagues. In the discussion following publication in 2011 (15076967.1), many users doubted about the possibilities of my plan, so we agreed to talk again after 15 seasons. Ever since, I’ve followed the plan quite close.

Skills

In 2011, I calculated the player skills I should get after 15 seasons of training. I am happy to see that the training calculator did its job well at the time, because I’ve managed to reach most desired skill levels after 15 seasons. In short (without going into too much detail), my players (sorted by age) are like this now:

32 year old:
1 goalkeeper: level 11 goalkeeping with lvl 10 defense.

27-31 year old:
1 wingback: lvl 12 defense with 11 winger and 10 passing.
2 central defenders: 12 defense, 11 playmaking and 9 passing; one of them has 9 winger as well.
3 inner midfielders: 14 playmaking (all dropped from 15), 10 defense and passing; two of them have 8/9 winger as well.
2 wingers: 14 playmaking, 12 wing, 11 passing and defense, 7 scoring (both quick).
3 defensive forwards: 13 playmaking, winger, scoring and passing (350k+ tsi). The other one is 11/12 on those 4 skills. The third one is technical: 11 playmaking, passing and scoring, 9 defense, 7 winger. I thought of him as a player for the bench, but he plays most of the time as TdF.

22-23 year old:
3 normal forwards: the first has 12 scoring and passing. The other two have 11 scoring and passing.

All of them have 11 to 14 set pieces and rising.
I got 3 headers (2 defenders, 1 forward), 6 (!) quick players (3 forwards, 2 wingers and 1 inner midfielder), 1 technical forward and 1 unpredictable forward. I am especially happy about my quick wingers and forwards. They are very effective.

All this amounts to 1.8m tsi and 166k wages.

Ratings

In the 2011-article I predicted I would be able to reach 448 hatstats. In reality, however, I get higher ratings. 509 hatstats is my record, playing pin at home: (515850184), using a neutral coach. In P-stats (57.9) I had the strongest team of all Spanish divisions in the sixth round of season 46: (http://goo.gl/YfOfJi)

Below, I give you an idea about the strength and limitations of my current home born and grown team, sorted by zone:

Defense
Playing 442 without individual orders, I only get ET (level 16) in counter attack ability, and - more important - around level 15/16 in all three defense zones: (513329581), and this last example even includes a pullback. This means that my defense is the weakest link of my team. I will not be able to put a decent counter attack formation in the highest league levels: no way I reach divine side defenses, not even playing with 5 defenders or with a defensive minded coach…

In non-counter attack games, my defense is normally good enough: I played 253 against a first division team, and managed to stop his attacks by boosting just one side of my defense. This is because (as said), most top teams use 2 TdF’s, which is great for their side attacks, but leaves them with virtually none center attack. I kicked this team out of the cup reaching level 17 on right defense, 11 on center defense and leaving the left side defense almost open (6): (498139762). Also here, the pullback helped me.

Midfield
Midfield is a strong point of my team. In ideal circumstances (mots, and all players repositioned towards middle), I can even reach a divine (20) midfield. In an important mid-league home match playing pin with high TS, I can easily reach to an ET (16) midfield. My midfield is competitive to most first division teams.

Attack
If needed, I can get very good side attacks (level 24, divine ++++, on both sides): (515850165), and a mythical (very high) central attack. I don’t use the center attack option often, but having the possibility is enough: my opponents never know whether they should expect it, so they are forced to play with 3 defenders when they expect to lose midfield. Also, my three normal forwards are great subs. When one of my 11 multiskills can’t play, I put one of the normal forwards in the field. It helps that the remaining 10 multiskills can play on almost all positions.

Average ratings
Another way to evaluate my home-grown team's strength is analysing season averages. This gives you a more balanced idea of the possibilities. Last season, I averaged 405 hatstats and 44.0 p-stats in my league. This season, after nine league rounds, I rank 14th in Spain nationwide, with 448 hatstats and 49,8 P-stats. That’s higher than 3 of the 8 teams from the Spanish first division: (http://goo.gl/R9x8Gx). Btw, 448 hatstats is exactly what I predicted back in 2011. :)

In short: I get very decent ratings, but my team still isn’t strong enough to compete in a first division league. I can win against the occasional first division team (like this challenge (5845976), this secondary cup quarter final (498139762), or this tournament game (5845868)), but I don’t have a first division team myself. This is mainly because I lack the defensive strength needed for a decent counter attack-game. Without the occasional counter attack, it's very hard to build TS in the highest divisions. I hope I can partly make up for this next season with a defensive minded coach.

Economy

In the 2011 training plan, I calculated 327k euros of weekly salaries. I think it’s mostly because of HT measures (tweaking salaries) that in reality, I never payed more than 185k a week. This only gets less, as my players are done training main skills and get older. I got 9+ million euros on my bank account, and my current two week balance extremely positive. Economy is just not really an issue for home grown teams.

Reached the top?

At the time, I claimed optimistically: “no doubt that in order to reach the highest leagues, you’ll have to grow your own players!” Almost 15 seasons have passed, and where am I now? Well, I play in IV at the moment, but I have the ratings to promote to III: I have the best team of my division in Spain. That I play lower than expected is mainly because of bad luck. According to htev.org, I got three seasons of extreme bad luck in a row (2x wretched and 1x poor luck, see (http://goo.gl/EyuNq0), (http://goo.gl/zZfNNs) and (http://goo.gl/pahWZ2)). Also, I make bad tactical decisions too often.

I am not at the very top, but I think I am getting close. As I will point out in the next part of this article, I guess I can squeeze this team out for 5 or 6 more seasons. Than I’ll have to renovate and stop being competitive for a while. So I got 5 or 6 seasons more to show what my team got. In those seasons to come, training will not be that important anymore; maintaining skills, form and stamina will be my main preoccupation. My goal now is to play in III and than, hopefully, II. That will be hard: I get high ratings, but so do other teams. I am not the only one taking advantage of the loyalty bonus and faster training!

What now, how to replace my old players?

The question I get most is how I plan to renew my squad once my “golden generation” (the 10/11 core players) gets too old. Once this cycle runs to an end, I will start a second cycle of 5 real life years. I will start all over again, with full power training and only 5% of stamina training. However, I will try to become competitive again as fast as possible. This is how I've planned it (roughly):

Although the core of my players is from one generation (currently between 27 and 31 years old), I also have 3 younger forwards (around 23 years old) and an older keeper (now 32). I am currently training a 16 year old goalie in my youth academy, so he will be able to replace my current goalkeeper in around 3 seasons.

Even when the 10 core players are very old and losing skills/stamina, I still have a young keeper and 3 relatively young forwards. Of course, I will notice a big drop in ratings, but not as big as one might think. The 10 ancient core players can still play on non-trainable positions for several seasons. Of course they will be very old (36+) with low stamina, but I can rotate the old core players on non-trainable positions using 3 subs, so I won't give away entire zones during the matches.

Personally, I think that at all times in the new cycle I will be able to compete in division VI or similar. Most top teams experience a break of several seasons after having played in the top divisions, so this is not something that worries me. The alternative would be playing for a longer time (eternally?) on a lower level (like IV or V), but that's simply not my ambition. I prefer to drop back to VI and try to reach the top levels again in 2020 or 2021, when my second cycle reaches its full potential.

Conclusion

To conclude I would say that I am happy to see that my team is as strong (or even stronger) than I predicted in 2011. 448 hatstats proved to be a realistic, and even quite low, goal. I almost can't believe I crashed the 500 hatstats barrier! The other ambition (playing in the first division) seems harder to realise. I still have 5 or 6 seasons to get there, but it will be hard. Many other teams use the home-grown and loyalty bonus at least for some zones, and average ratings are increasing at all levels in the competition.

To finalize, I would like to thank all members of the Dutch federation "Eigen jeugd in het eerste" and all participants in one of the most active threads in the Spanish national forum: "Canteranos". It's great being part of this active home-grown community!




Editor's note: if you like the article feel free to click "Like" and/or leave a comment. You can discuss the article on the forum: (16812877.1).

2015-05-21 12:24:02, 34664 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=18924]

 
 
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