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FM Rookie - Getting Started with a New Squad


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Hi everyone,

Total FM noob here. Looking for advice. I'm very interested in the idea of starting at a small club, but I just don't understand a lot of the personnel stuff yet. But I want to! I've just taken over as HC of Alfreton, and I'm trying to figure out how to assess my team and make some moves. I have a transfer budget of $8.2k and %539k p/a available. I'm using all fake players.


  1. Advice for assessing my current squad? The team I've taken over seems to have some good, young talent. No one over 26. I have 6 players with at least 4 star current ability, heavily skewed to defense. What are some things you guys look at right away, like "I look at the depth chart, and any position where my starter isn't 2.5+, I look to upgrade." That's what I'm going with right now. Squad
  2. I have many people on my team who are listed as "non-contract". Some of them aren't half-bad (like Davies in the screenshot). Are these players on trials? I assume this means I must sign them to a new contract if I want to keep them? If I don't, when will I lose them? (It's currently mid-July.)
  3. I have several players on my squad who have unknown ability/potential. Why are they like this, and how do I get information about them? (I suspect they are just place-fillers.)
  4. I have two very solid (4-star current) GKs and several backups/U18 players with high potential and low current. Would it make sense to try to sell one of the two four-stars?
  5. There are four GKs on my senior squad. Again, do I try to sell/transfer the extras?
  6. There are several players where it indicates another team wants them on a loan, but it says, like "Chesham (free)". Does that mean they want the player, but they want them for free? What's the benefit of that?
  7. When it comes to finding players to add to the squad, I'm struggling to figure out an easy way to say "show me players who are midfielders comfortable as deep-lying playmakers. Any suggestions? If my scouts have only scouted a handful of players, am I just flying blind?
  8. Presumably because I'm at a small club, I only have a GM and a chief scout. What are the odds I can add another scout? Should I?

Any feedback much appreciated!

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The best place to start is the team report - squad depth. 

It will give you an overview of all players in all positions and what the assistant manager considers the best player and then the next best for each positon. This is based on the assistant manager's judging ability/potential attributes, so if they are low it will be less accurate but still give you a good starting point. 

If you set up a tactic with certain roles already in it, then you can go back to the squad depth and select the option that shows you the best player using the current tactic' roles.

The assistant manager or scouts evaluate each player based on a star rating in comparison to the overall strength of your team. This means that your star player may have 4 or 5 stars in your team but if he were to play for Barcelona it may be a half star only. The potential of a player is shown with some white or black background on the stars meaning they could develop all the way to fill up these stars or it may be less depending on various factors - injury, playtime, own development, personality.

In the scouting section you can filter by position or you can ask the scouts in a new assignment to find a midfielder or select a role or certain attributes. You can say search for a young player or a replacement or a backup, etc.

When you go to the staff selection you can see how many staff members you can have. If you want more you can ask the board and maybe you get lucky and they add more staff. 

For loaning out you can set the parameters. You can charge a monthly fee. You can ask them to pay a % of the wage when playing or when not playing. You could agree a future fee. You can restrict if they can play against you, if you can recall the player from loan (maybe if you have an injury crisis).

I don't play much in lower leagues teams, so someone else could maybe chime in with some specifics to low league management. 

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