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The Valencia Youth Academy Experiment

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Reading through another forum, i found this gem of a thread: http://www.sockformation.com/forum/index.php?/topic/2069-the-crewe-experiment/ where a guy takes charge of crewe and manages them whilst not being able to sign any players, relying solely on the youth academy for new recruits ( im aware there's a similar challenge thread, but this will be more an experiment than a challenge ). I wanted to see what progress a big club would make following a similar path ( in his game, he got relegated a few times, then went on an upward trajectory that led to crewe being one of the best teams in the world )

I chose to be Valencia for a few reasons, Chief amongst them being I follow them irl, which will help keep my interest in the experiment, they have a decent, if not stellar youth setup ( i will post the numbers in a bit ) and have a few good youth products at the club. As this will ( hopefully ) be a long term experiment, one of the first things i decided was that i wouldn't sell off my non-youth academy products immediately, given Valencias financial situation and the freefall this would inevitably lead too, i decided instead to keep all current players, but not be able to sign any non-youth academy players currently at the club to new contracts, so i could sell them off at my leisure and have a slightly better transitional period easing in the ( hopefully! ) first wave of young talent. I would however play as many academy products as possible, favouring them ( provided they werent awful ) over better players as long as they were home gown and should a good offer come in for a non-academy player, I would sell him at the first oppurtunity.

I will use FMRTE to look at the CA and PA of the players my academy produces, to see how the facilities are rated and to see how the reputation of the club suffers throughout the experiment,

I wont actually be managing the side as such, I will hire some good staff, set the tactics and holiday the games ( this is for two reasons, one, i anticipate getting sacked a lot, especially at the start :D and two, to progress quicker in this experiment, i may play a few key games, should we reach the CL final :D ), coming out of hibernation in the two transfer windows to make sure none of my youth players get picked off by bigger clubs ( though still holidaying the actual matches in those periods )

I will post a seasonal update, with updates on each youth players progression, along with a review of that seasons youth intake, I hope to have an all Youth Academy produced side by 2 seasons maximum and would try to have one by the start of the second season.

Im not sure what to expect in season 1, as mentioned, i will still be using a few of the non-academy players to transition over, so relegation might be avoidable, but i could see an early CL exit as pretty inevitable and would be hard pushed to even qualify for the europa league, so there be at least one sacking this season, maybe more! The long term goal, after ive stabilised the club and sold/released all the non-academy players, will be to build up the clubs facilities and make Valencia Spain's no.1 club ( which will be no mean feat with Barca and Real ruling the roost! )

Current Valencia Attributes:

Training Facilities 15
Youth Facilities    11
Youth Academy       14
Youth Recruitment   16
Reputation          8000

Current Academy Products in the First Team:

Name             Pos  Age  CA    PA

David Albelda    DM   33   140   159
Pablo Hernandez  AMR  26   147   156
Vicente Guaita   GK   24   144   155
Juan Bernat      AML  18   102   156
Joel             DR   18   84    130
Paco Alcacer     ST   17   105   177
Rubén            DC   17   73    167
Salva Ruiz       DL   16   68    160

as you can see, thats a decent start, with some good prospects in most positions, I would hope for some good central midfielders and defenders in my first youth intake

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Season 2011/12

Liga BBVA: 15th ( P38, W10, D10, L18, F36, A54, GD-18, PTs40 )

Copa del Rey: QF ( lost 3-3 on away goals to Getafe )

Champions League: Group Stage ( 4th in group )

Most Appearances: David Albelda ( 41 appearances )

Most Goals: Paco Alcacer ( 8 goals )

Highest Average Rating: Pablo Hernandez ( 6.83 )

Times Sacked: Once ( December 3rd, 2011 )

So not too bad then, tanked in the CL as expected, but managed to cling to our Liga BBVA status by 6 points, I asked the board to upgrade the Junior Coaching and the Youth facilities, which they agreed to do, in FMRTE, my "Youth Facilities" went up from 11 to 14, though im not sure if "Youth Facilities" in FMRTE is Junior Coaching and the "Youth Academy" is Youth Facilities, as im pretty sure the "Youth Facilities" in FM doesnt improve till the end of the season when the construction finishes!

will update on the youth intake and the current players progress in a bit, just need to holiday to june and take some screenies

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Class of 2012


As you can see, a pretty good first class for me there, with 2 players with potential better than anyone at the club already and 2 with the potential to be decent squad players too, the only down point is no really decent defenders, Montaya might be good enough for the bench of he maxes his potential, but that would be pushing it, Angel, Adolfo, Aroca, Carlos, Montoya, Bertolotto, Hernandez and Garcia have all been given contracts, the rest have been released.

Angel: http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/ngelOverview_Attributes.png

Adolfo: http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/GustavoAdolfoOverview_Attributes.png

Aroca: http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/JorgeJuanLpezArocaOverview_Attributes.png

Carlos: http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/JosCarlosOverview_Attributes.png

Montoya: http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/PascualMontoyaOverview_Attributes.png

Class of 2011

Name             Pos  Age  CA          PA
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/DavidAlbeldaOverview_Attributes.png"]David Albelda [/url]   DM   34   137 (-3)    159 
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/PabloHernndezOverview_Attributes.png"]Pablo Hernandez[/url]  AMR  27   147 (+0)    156 
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/VicenteGuaitaOverview_Attributes.png"]Vicente Guaita[/url]   GK   25   152 (+8)    155
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/JuanBernatOverview_Attributes.png"]Juan Bernat[/url]      AML  19   103 (+1)    156
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/JoelOverview_Attributes.png"]Joel     [/url]        DR   19   89  (+5)    130
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/PacoAlccerOverview_Attributes.png"]Paco Alcacer[/url]     ST   18   114 (+9)    177
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/RubnOverview_Attributes.png"]Rubén [/url]           DC   18   96  (+23)   167
[url="http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p525/Cms186/Class of 2012/SalvaRuizOverview_Attributes.png"]Salva Ruiz[/url]       DL   17   91  (+23)   160

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Interesting but what are your database settings ?

im just using the standard ones from the last update

First of all good luck. Secondly could you perhaps put CA/PA spoilers in title or hide these in thread with spoiler tags? Caught me out as I scrolled down.

i did say in the third paragraph if the OP that i would be posting them, i will make it more prominent

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I forgot to mention the players sold, so far, I have sold Jordi Alba, Aritz Aduriz, Bruno, Miguel and Angel Dealbert for a combined total of 18.5 million and currently have offers in for Adil Rami and Jeremie Mathieu, I will try and unload a couple of central midfielders too given I have some good prospects there now.

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Start of Season 2012/13

Training Facilities 15
Youth Facilities    14
Youth Academy       14
Youth Recruitment   16
Reputation          7814

With some great prospects from my first intake class, i decided to plunge a couple straight into the first team, leaving only one centre back spot not occupied by a Youth Academy produced player, expectations from the board were a top half finish, so i anticipate another sacking this season ( which is annoying, as i'll have to re-import all my tactics and training schedules again and it seems getting sacked cancels any infrastructure work :mad: ) but we will be lucky to escape relegation imho, financially we were in a decent state, nearly 30 million in the bank, a lot of the big earners shifted on, with more yet to go, there was also Valencias new stadium due at the end of the season after this one, just a shame it would probably first be used in Spains second tier!

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oh, i have loaded; All Spanish Leagues, All English Leagues and the top leagues in Portugal, France, Germany, Mexico, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Holland, Scotland, Argentina and Brazil, i didnt load any additional players

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Season 2012/13

Liga BBVA: 12th ( P38, W13, D8, L17, F38, A45, GD-7, PTs47 )

Copa del Rey: SF ( lost 6-2 on aggregate to Athletic Bilbao )

Most Appearances: Rubén ( 43 appearances )

Most Goals: Paco Alcacer ( 8 goals )

Highest Average Rating: Rubén ( 7.06 )

Times Sacked: Once ( November 7th, 2012 )( 2 times total )

Well that was a complete surprise, although all the academy players had got some decent progression in, i assumed that adding in a few more, especially in the critical area of central midfield, would severely weaken the team and we would get relegated, not only did we finish 19 points clear of relegation, but we also got to the semi finals of the Copa del Rey! I guess one explanation could be no European distraction, but just after i got sacked, the team went on a 13 match unbeaten streak ( admittedly it was a fairly easy run, no particularly big teams in that run of games ), but still a big shock to me, if the team can survive next season when they will have a completly homegrown first Xl, then we might get through this experiment without getting relegated at all!

Anticipating getting sacked, i held back on asking for an upgrade to the youth facilities until my second "incarnation" of the season and there will be some shiny ne facilities on the way soon enough :)

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Class of 2013


A disappointing second class, given how good last years was, Ivan would probably make a solid backup at this level, the rest would probably not see the first team much, Ivan, Adria Vidal, Ricardo, Sebastian Sanchez, Luis Sainz and Solbes have all been given contracts, the rest have been released.

Class of 2012

Name        Pos  Age  CA         PA
Angel       MC   17   117 (+32)  181
Adolfo      AML  17   94 (+27)   179
Aroca       AMRC 17   89 (+9)    155
Carlos      AMC  17   89 (+13)   144
Montoya     DC   17   94 (+25)   129

nice to see some of these players coming on leaps and bounds, Angel in particular with a monster increase! Adolfos increase is also pretty impressive, as hes been on the bench and hasnt actually played much, i might put him in ahead of bernat as bernat isnt progressing very quickly :(

Class of 2011

Name             Pos  Age  CA                     PA
David Albelda    DM   35   127 (-10)(-13 total)   159 
Pablo Hernandez  AMR  28   150 (+3)(+3 total)     156 
Vicente Guaita   GK   26   155 (+3)(+11 total)    155    HAS REACHED POTENTIAL!!!!!!!!
Juan Bernat      AML  20   105 (+2)(+3 total)     156
Joel             DR   20   98  (+9)(+14 total)    130
Paco Alcacer     ST   19   122 (+8)(+17 total)    177
Rubén            DC   19   114 (+18)(+41 total)   167
Salva Ruiz       DL   18   106 (+15)(+38 total)   160

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A note on screenshots, as its a bit of a pain linking every single screenshot, ive instead started creating mini albums on flickr for each class with yearly updates to their progress starting with the previous post, the link is in each bolded header for the class in question, so for example, to see the screenshots for this years intake class, click on the "Class of 2013" and it will take you to the mini album for that intake class, for that year.

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i just re-add myself, i do notice before the holiday ends, because the banner at the top changes colour, they did hire a replacement both times ( it was rafa benitez, both times :D ) but he wasnt in charge for very long and didnt have time to do anything to effect the team through selling or buying players or anything

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I have been planning to do a very similar challenge/expirement for a while. Going to play as Hearts in the SPL (my team), somewhat inspired by our real life situation where the chairman has basically said we cant sign anyone, and have to rely on youth prospects.

I will probably not sell the initial squad, as in the SPL wont get as many youth players so need to keep a squad. Think there is a decent chance of having some success in the SPL too.

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