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What's the best way to get young players to reach their potential?


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I've signed loads of young players with great potential. I have excellent youth and training facilities and coaches. Just wondering if they are better of playing in the under 18s/reserves or whether I should send them to lower league clubs to get first team experience. Thoughts?

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In my experience the best results I get when I start in low divisions and they follow me up through divisions. So in your case I would loan them out where they get regular competitive football. When I've reached premier league I loan out all my talents to clubs where they are regular members of the first team.

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I'd keep them at your club until they have home grown status. You have complete control over their role and attribute training in this period, plus their tutoring and PPM training.

Then, if they're good enough, you can use them in your first team (starting XI or bench), or send them on loan to a team where they are guaranteed first team football.

Cleon's Ajax thread in the Tactics & Training forum is very helpful in this regard.

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I keep them in the U18s until they're no longer eligible, and then if they're still listed as under 2-2.5* by my AssMan, I'll loan them out. My only problem is that sometimes I'll get guys stuck at the 1-2* level because they're not good enough to get much first team time, but they're still building homegrown status so I don't want to loan them. That is a tough line to toe.

Also you have to beware of teams promising "rotation" status to your loanees and then only giving them 4 or 5 apps for the entire season. That can be really annoying.

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If they're any good, before you loan them out you should tutor and discipline them to get their Determination and Work Rate up higher and Personality stronger. Reserves and U18s can be given fines/warnings for poor performance and you can get massive gains from using them. Then specify non negotiable squad First Team status and a recall clause when you offer them out.

If they're not any good, it doesn't really matter, I prefer to send them out on loan just to get them off the roster and off the wage bill. You can usually loan out for 100% of wages and sometimes plus a fee.

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Do you have to keep your players at your club to get home grown status? I thought since they were at your club anyway but just loaned out they would be granted homegrown status?

Time spent on loan does not count towards home grown status. I found this out the hard way.

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