Match Experience

Once a player reaches the age of 18 it is important for his progression that he gets regular, good quality match experience. Without this it is unlikely that his current ability will come close to reaching his potential ability.

How to Give Young Players Match Experience

A player will gain some match experience from playing for his club’s youth and reserve squads, but will gain much better match experience from playing for its senior squad, or for other clubs’ senior squads on loan, depending on the level that the clubs compete at.

If you have a young player who is already good enough to play fairly regularly for your senior squad (say, in at least one in every three competitive matches) then this is usually the best way to give him match experience.

However, you are likely to have many players who, when they reach the age of 18, are not yet good enough for regular playing time in your senior squad.

You may still be able to give such players occasional senior match experience at your club. For example, you might be able to feature them in league matches against weaker teams near the bottom of the division, in cup matches against lower division opposition, in insignificant league matches near the end of the season or as substitutes in matches you are winning comfortably.

However, the benefit of such match experience to player progression is limited due to the lack of regular playing time, while the quality of the match experience may also be lacking if the level that your senior squad plays at is higher than is appropriate for those players, making it difficult for them to perform well and learn.

Therefore, to give your young players regular, good quality match experience it is often necessary to send them out on loan to other clubs.

Managing Playing Time

In general, the more playing time a player is given the more likely he is to have good progression.

However, a player should not be given so much playing time that he becomes jaded. Therefore, his fitness should be monitored closely and he should be rested from matches at least occasionally.

Younger players (and older players) in particular are likely to need more rest.

How to Use the Loan System Effectively

To ensure that the players who you loan out get regular, good quality match experience at their loan clubs you need to use the loan system effectively.

Basic guidance on how to loan out players and details of the different loan terms that can be used are provided separately below.

Choosing a Suitable Loan Club

It is very important to consider the suitability of a club before you send a player there on loan, especially when loaning out young players.

For a loan move to give a player good progression the following two conditions should be met by the loan club:

  • The loan club should compete in a league division that is at an appropriate level for the player’s current ability (neither too high nor too low).
    • To give a player good quality match experience you should loan him to a club at an appropriate level. A player would not be sufficiently challenged at too low a level but may struggle to perform well at too high a level.
    • Advice on what level is appropriate for a player is provided in his coach reports (under Current Ability (Division) in the Pros or Cons) or scout reports (under Recommendation) and can be judged from his perceived current ability or playing attributes. To help you compare the levels of foreign league divisions with domestic divisions you can check their Reputation star ratings by clicking Globe icon > Browser > World then going to the Competitions > Leagues screen.
  • The loan club should regularly select the player in its senior starting line-up.
    • To give a player regular match experience you should loan him to a club that is likely to play him often.
    • To judge how often your player is likely to play you should consider the squad status given in each loan offer (discussed below under Loan Clauses). For extra assurance it is also advisable to check the quality of the players who are likely to be competing for the same playing position as your player.

If you have a choice of clubs that are likely to meet the above two conditions for a player who you are loaning out then you can also consider the following aspects of the clubs to try to increase the likelihood of the loan move giving the player good progression:

  • League performance.
    • A loan move is more likely to give a player good quality match experience if he and his loan club perform well. Therefore, it is advisable to give preference to clubs that are more likely to be performing well near the top of their division.
    • To judge how well a team is likely to perform you can check the club’s position in the league table and their recent results. If the season has not yet started then you can check the club’s Media Prediction on its Overview > General screen under Competition.
    • However, a loan to a struggling club is still better than a loan to a club at an inappropriate level, or no loan at all and insufficient senior match experience.
  • Quality of training.
    • A loan move is more likely to give a player good training progression if his loan club has a good quality of training. Therefore, it is advisable to give preference to clubs that have better training facilities and coaches.
    • In particular, you should look for good ratings in the Determination, Level Of Discipline, Motivating and (for young players) Working With Youngsters staff attributes among coaches.
    • However, for players aged 18 or older the quality of training and training progression are not as important as the amount and quality of match experience (and match progression).
  • Quality of the manager.
    • A loan move is more likely to give a player good progression if he has good morale. Therefore, it is advisable to give preference to clubs that have a manager with good ratings in the Man Management and (for young players) Working With Youngsters staff attributes.

Monitoring Loans

It is advisable to closely monitor the players who you have out on loan and consider recalling any who are not playing regularly or not playing well.

You can view a list of players who are out on loan on the Transfers > Loans screen. You can recall players directly from this screen but only if a can be recalled loan option has been included in the loan deal (discussed below under Loan Options)

You can ask one of your scouts to provide match reports on a player who you have loaned out by right-clicking his name and then going to Scouting > Get Match Reports and choosing a scout.

Players Returning From Loan

When a player comes back from loan he may be good enough to play for your senior squad. If not, then to try to develop him further you can loan him out again, possibly to a club that competes at a higher level than his previous loan club if he has improved.

However, if a player appears to have reached or almost reached his potential ability but is not good enough for your senior squad then you should consider selling him before his contract nears expiry.

Ideally, it is advisable to renew the contracts of young players before they get to within two years of expiry to help you to sell the players who you have developed at higher prices, as well as to help you to secure those players who you want to keep. You do not need to wait until a player has returned from loan before offering him a new contract.

Using an Affiliated Club

To make it easier to loan out players you may want to use an affiliated club that agrees to take players on loan from your club.

Details of how to obtain an affiliated club are provided below under Loaning to an Affiliated Club.

How to Loan Out Players

Loaning out a player can be a very useful way of giving him match experience if he is not good enough to play for your senior squad. It can also be a good way to increase a player’s value or make him more desirable if you are planning to sell him, either to the loaning club itself or a different club.

A player can be loaned out by either offering him to clubs for loan or sending him to an affiliated club. Both methods are explained below.

Offering Players for Loan

You can offer a player for loan from the player’s Transfer > Offer To Clubs screen by selecting Loan Offer on the left, editing the various loan terms and clicking Offer to Clubs at the bottom of the screen. By default the offer is sent to various clubs but the Targets tab on the left enables you to exclude or include particular clubs.

The terms you choose on this screen form your offer and are the starting point for negotiations with any bidding clubs. A bidding club may respond by offering different terms, although you can make any term non-negotiable using the padlock icon next to the term or the entire offer non-negotiable by using the padlock icon at the bottom of the screen. However, a bidding club may accept your terms and could themselves make individual terms or the whole offer non-negotiable, which means that it is important to make sure that you set terms that you are happy with.

In general, when selling or loaning out a player it is advisable to offer terms that allow you room to negotiate lower. If no clubs make a bid then you can try again by offering lower terms. This can help you to avoid undervaluing a player.

However, when loaning out a young player, especially if he is unproven, it can be beneficial to encourage more clubs to bid so that you hopefully have more choice of where the player goes. Therefore, you may want to offer terms that are more favourable to bidding clubs.

Advice on how to use each loan term is given below.

You will receive any offers that are made for your player in your inbox. From here you can:

  • Reject Offer,
  • Modify and then Suggest Terms (where made negotiable by both you and the bidding club),
  • Accept Offer, or
  • View Offer – to see the terms of the offer in a full screen view, along with related information.

In addition, you can manage multiple offers on the Transfers > Transfer Centre screen.

Loan Terms

  • Monthly Fee – the amount that the loan club will pay the parent club each month during the loan.
    • Playing Monthly Fee – the Monthly Fee if the loan club uses the player in senior matches.
    • Unused Monthly Fee – the Monthly Fee if the loan club does not use the player in senior matches.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • You may want to agree an Unused Monthly Fee that is higher than the Playing Monthly Fee to encourage the loan club to use the player.
      • If the player is a young player – it can be beneficial to request a lower Monthly Fee (or no Monthly Fee) to encourage more offers to be made, especially if the player is unproven.
  • Wage Percentage – the percentage of the player’s wages that the loan club will pay during the loan.
    • Playing Wage Percentage – the Wage Percentage if the loan club uses the player in senior matches.
    • Unused Wage Percentage –  the Wage Percentage if the loan club does not use the player in senior matches.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • It is advisable to request a Wage Percentage that is low enough to be affordable to clubs at the level that you want to loan the player to. You may want to check the general wages paid to players at this level before setting the Wage Percentage.
      • You may also want to agree an Unused Wage Percentage that is higher than the Playing Wage Percentage to encourage the loan club to use the player.
      • If the player is a young player – it can be beneficial to request a lower Wage Percentage (or no Wage Percentage) to encourage more offers to be made, especially if the player is unproven.
  • Duration – the amount of time that the loan will last for if the parent club does not recall the player and the loan club does not terminate the loan.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • You may want to set the Duration such that the loan ends during a transfer window (for the league divisions you are likely to want to loan to), as this will allow you to offer the player for loan again as soon as he returns if you wish. Transfer window dates are shown on the Overview > Rules screen for each league division.
Loan Clauses
  • Squad Status – the squad status that the player should be given by the loan club.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • The higher the Squad Status you can agree the better, as playing time is an important factor of player progression.
      • If the player is a young player – it is advisable to agree a Key Player or First Team Squad Status if possible to increase the likelihood that the player will be given regular playing time. However, you may want to request First Team rather than Key Player to encourage more offers to be made.
  • Preferred Position – the playing position that the loan club should play the player in most frequently.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • You may want to request that the player is played in a position for which he has natural or accomplished positional ability to increase the likelihood that he will perform well. However, you should check the quality of the players already at the club who play in that position, as it may be easier for your player to compete for another position.
      • This clause is not as important as the Squad Status clause though, as the most important thing is for the player to be given playing time.
  • Future Fee – an amount that the loan club will be able to pay the parent club as a transfer fee for the player during the loan without requiring the parent club to accept an offer, but only if it can agree a contract with the player after initiating the clause.
    • Optional Future Fee – a Future Fee clause that the loan club does not have to initiate if it does not want to buy the player during the loan.
    • Mandatory Future Fee – a Future Fee clause that the loan club must initiate. However, if the player indicates that he does not want to join the loan club permanently then the clause is changed to an Optional Future Fee before the loan is agreed.
    • Future Fee After Matches Played – a Future Fee clause that becomes a Mandatory Future Fee clause if the loan club uses the player in the specified number of matches.
    • Future Fee After Competition Achievement – a Future Fee clause that becomes a Mandatory Future Fee clause if the loan club achieves a specified competition objective.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • You should only set a Future Fee if you are happy to sell the player at a certain price.
      • You should take into account the possibility that the player’s value may increase during the loan, especially if he is a young player.
      • A Future Fee clause can be useful, for example, if you do not expect the player to be good enough for your senior squad at any point, especially if you are struggling to sell him.
      • Unless a Future Fee clause is optional, it can be difficult to agree with both the loan club and the player.
  • Future Buy Back Fee (only becomes relevant if the loan club signs the player using an Optional Future Fee clause) – an amount that the original parent club will be able to pay the original loan club (the new parent club) as a transfer fee for the player without requiring the new parent club to accept an offer, but only if it can agree a contract with the player after initiating the clause.
    • When loaning out a player with an Optional Future Fee clause:
      • You may want to request a Future Buy Back Fee clause if you believe that there is a chance you will want to sign the player back, especially if he is a young player and may improve while at the loan club.
      • The inclusion of a Future Buy Back Fee clause makes the Optional Future Fee clause less appealing to the loan club.
  • Bonus After Competition Achievement – a fee that the loan club must pay if it achieves a specified competition objective.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • If the player is a young player – it is advisable not to include a Bonus After Competition Achievement clause to encourage more offers to be made.
Loan Options
  • Can play in cup matches – allows the loan club to use the player in cup competition matches (as well as league matches, which are allowed by default) during the loan. If he is used in a cup match by the loan club then he becomes ‘cup-tied’, which means that he is unable to play in the same competition for a different club (including the parent club if he returns to it) before the end of the current season.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • It is advisable to include the can play in cup matches option unless you believe that you may need the player later in the season for a particular cup competition that the loan club also competes in.
  • Can play against own team (or own club’s B team) allows the loan club to use the player in matches against his parent club (or his parent club’s B team if it has one) during the loan.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • It is advisable to include the can play against own team (and own club’s B team if applicable) option unless the loan club competes in the same competition as your club and you wish to place that team at a slight disadvantage in any match between the two clubs (for a B team it is less important to try to gain an advantage in this way).
  • Can be recalled – allows the parent club to end the loan and bring the player back before the full Duration of the loan is complete.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • It is advisable to try to include the can be recalled option so that you can end the loan if the player is not playing regularly or not playing well, especially if he is a young player.
  • Loan cannot be terminated – prevents the loan club from ending the loan and sending the player back until the full Duration of the loan is complete.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • The loan cannot be terminated option can be useful if you want to keep the player off your club’s wage bill using the Wage Percentage term.
  • Can play for parent club (or parent club’s reserves) – allows the parent club to use the player in its own senior matches (or its reserve matches) during the loan.
    • When loaning out a player:
      • If the player is good enough for your senior squad – the can play for parent club option can be useful as it allows you to use the player in the event that he is not getting regular playing time for the loan club.
      • If the player is not good enough for your senior squad – the can play for parent club’s reserves option can enable you to keep the player match fit if he is not getting regular playing time for the loan club.
      • If the player is a young player – it is advisable to not include the can play for parent club (or parent club’s reserves) options to encourage more offers to be made.

Loaning to an Affiliated Club

Your club’s current affiliated clubs are shown on the Club > Affiliates > Affiliated Clubs screen. You are able to send players on loan to those clubs where this is stated in the list of terms of the affiliate relationship on the central panel.

Obtaining an Affiliate

If your club does not already have a suitable affiliate then you can ask your club’s board to look for one using the Look For Affiliate Club button under Board Requests at the bottom of the Affiliated Clubs screen. You can then choose from a number of reasons for requesting an affiliate and, if they agree with you, the board will search for appropriate options. If you want a club to loan players to then you should give this as your reason to the board.

After about two weeks you will be given the opportunity to recommend a club from those that the board have found. The board will then take your suggestion into account when choosing the affiliate. For affiliates that you want to loan players to it is advisable to base your recommendation on the reputation of the division in which each club plays and the quality of each club’s training facilities.

It can be useful to have two types of affiliate for giving players experience on loan if possible. One can be used for your better prospects and could perhaps be just one league division below your own club, while the other can be used for your lesser prospects and could perhaps be two or three divisions below your club.

Sending a Player to an Affiliate

To send a player to an affiliated club go to the player, select Development > Move To Affiliate, choose the club that you want to send him to and then set the terms of the loan. The loan will only be confirmed if the player accepts the offer to go on loan.

There are fewer terms available to set than for a normal loan, as most terms are determined by the terms of the affiliate relationship.

As with a normal loan, you should judge whether the player is likely to be given regular playing time. The affiliate tells you what squad status they will give the player before you set the terms of the loan, although it is again advisable to check the quality of the players who are likely to be competing for the same playing position as your player.