With the save progressing well, I thought it was time to look at the youth setup and the youth prospects in greater detail. Youth development is already playing a big part in this save. I’ve been using youngsters in the first team almost from the start with more and more youth products/youngsters involved as the game has progressed.
As you know, the Head Of Youth Development is the important guy when recruiting young players to join the youth setup. Having the right man with the right attributes is something people seem to miss out. On the Deep Lying Podcast’s ‘Question Of The Week’ segment a few weeks ago, they asked for listeners favourite staff and one man’s name came up as a bit of a legend of the HOYD role, Phil Cannon. Now if you look at his attributes, they’re right, he’s pretty good…
…but he was never great for me, ever.
For a long time, I never ever took the personality of this staff member, or any staff member for that fact, into consideration. I was blissfully unaware/ignorant about how it could affect youth players joining the team. When you get your youth intake, it usually says “X player has taken on a similar personality to X member of staff” If you look at Mr Cannon above, he has a Balanced personality, which is a pretty neutral personality type. Ideally, you want players to have some of the better personality types, like Professional, Resolute, Ambitious etc. Players with these types of personalities will apply themselves more in training and I’ve found that further down the line, they’re less likely to get mad if they’re out of the team.
You can of course tutor them with experienced players, but obviously if they come with a good personality, that’ll save a bit of time.
I’m not saying my guy, Gheorghe Rohat, is the best, but I think he’s decent in what I’m looking for. I’d perhaps have him with higher adaptability, determination and tactical knowledge, but overall, he suits the role perfect. His attributes for the job are in check, his discipline level is very high and his personality type is Professional. He’s brought some nice players to the club so far, so I’m very happy with him.
It’s not just youth HOYD that can influence the youngsters though, so it’s good to have a good environment around them of players with positive personality types. That is what I’ve done here.
I have some very good players in the youth team at the moment. In fact, looking over it, it’s brimming with talent for the future. Some of these players have already had some game time in the cups or non important games.
The problem I have at the moment is that I have an abundance of strikers and not all of those guys will make it here. They’ve been very successful over the past couple of years, winning the U19’s league and the UEFA Youth League. I’ve had to loan a couple of those players out as I can’t fit them in the first team right now and I need them to develop with senior competitive games.
Players in First Team
It’s not just the Youth Team that’s brimming with potential stars, in fact, the average age of my squad is just 20 years old. In my twenty one man squad, nine are over 20. Thirteen of those players came through my youth system, which is pretty awesome, especially since it’s only the 2021/22 season.
I’ve just pictured the teenagers that are in the first team squad right now. Three of those players are first team regulars while the others are getting a good share of games on rotation.
Potential Stars/Stars in the Making
In every bunch of youngsters, there’s a few that stand out. I’m going to pick out four that I think will be stars for my team.
The first lad is Albert Prol, a 19 year old left back from Spain(although he has dual nationality). He joined the youth setup in 2017/18 and made his debut the following season. He’s really made great progress in his development and his physical and mental attributes are superb. I suspect one of the big team will be sniffing around him soon.
Brice Barret is 19 now and broke into the first team at the tail end of the 2020/21 season. I’m still trying to figure out what his best role will be as he’s very versatile, but at the moment, I’m leaning towards training him as a box to box midfielder. He’s still got a long way to go to get through his development, so I’m very hopeful that he’ll continue to improve. He joined at the same time as Albert Prol.
Showcasing young hopefuls would be pointless if I didn’t have an exciting striker to look at, right? This is Fabien Raynaud, an 18 year old giant that’s currently forcing his way into the first team. He’s described as a target man, but I’m trying hard to expand his game right now. Another one who joined in 17/18, must’ve been a good year! He made his debut when he was 16 and has already featured in 50 league games, scoring 16 times.
What’s better than one exciting striker? Two! This is Saint-Iréné Youga, another young man who’s giving me food for thought. He’s only 16, but his attributes are pretty good. Game time is needed to improve this one and he’s getting games when I can give them to him. If his mental attributes improve as I hope, this guy could be unreal.
I don’t want to bore you with endless screenshots or info about players, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. Noah Vigier is a youngster that we signed as soon as we could and he’s now a first team regular. Gilles Fabre, Simone Bruni and Hassan Ayyouch are all players with significant pedigree to succeed here and have been in and around the first team for the past few years.
There are a couple of players in the youth team right now that I’ll be elevating to the first team as soon as I can. Roger Toure being the pick of that bunch as I think he’s going to play a big part in the first team.
I’ll try to feature a little bit about the youngsters in up coming blogs as I introduce them into the first team. I was flooding the first team with young players the past couple of seasons and I didn’t want to dedicate big spots to six or seven youth players who may or not make it. I thought I’d do something like this at some point, so it’s nice to keep it in one place.
The One That Got Away
There’s always a young player that you develop that leaves. Loïc Agobian was mine. He joined PSG for £31m a few years back. He was part of my first ever intake. He played in over 90 games for us before that move. I kept a screenshot of when he first joined compared to now at PSG. Look at his mentals and physicals! Unreal.
I was really disappointed when he left. He said he wanted to win titles and that we couldn’t achieve that. We won it the next season. Typical. I hope I can sign him back at some point in the future. A potential captain for sure.
Thanks again for reading.