To develop your young players efficiently it is important that you set up training not just for your senior squad, but for your reserve squad and youth squad as well. Both of these squads have their own separate Team Training, Individual Training and Coaches screens where you can do this. They can be accessed from each squad’s own Training tab.
Since your younger players are still developing physically they will be more vulnerable to high training workloads. You should therefore be more considerate when setting training and keep a close eye on the number of injuries and general fitness among these players.
For further details on training players of all ages see the Training guide.
This guide refers to the English squad structure of senior squad, under 21s squad and under 18s squad. In other nations different structures are used and the sharing of training facilities (and therefore the sharing of general training and coaching assignments) between squads may vary. However, you should be able to adapt the logic used in this guide to your particular squad structure. You can see if two squads share training facilities by checking the General Training panel on the Team Training screen of the lower status squad. This states “shared facilities” if facilities are shared. Where a squad has a separate full manager (for example, B teams in Spain) you will not be able to set training for that squad.
Your under 21s squad undertakes general training with your senior squad but your under 18s squad has its own separate general training. Each squad takes part in its own separate match preparation training.
You will therefore need to set up your under 21s squad’s match preparation training and your under 18s squad’s general training and match preparation training. To do this you will need to ensure that you are in charge of running general training for your youth squads and match training for your under 21s squad and under 18s squad on the Club section of the Staff Responsibilities screen, accessed from the Responsibilities tab of the Staff screen.
It is recommended that you give your under 18s squad rest days both before and after matches. This will help their fitness and reduce the likelihood of injuries occurring which could otherwise affect their development. The rest days allowed for your under 21s squad are set as per your senior squad.
Information on setting rest days is given in the Team Training guide.
Match Preparation Training
Good match performances are not of high importance for your under 21s squad and under 18s squad but they can still be useful as they will help you to achieve high levels of morale among your youth players, as well as benefiting the morale of any senior players who you make available for your under 21s squad in order to improve their morale or match fitness.
You can schedule 10% of time for match preparation training to keep tactic familiarity high, but any more match preparation training than this is not generally necessary. This will allow you to prioritise player development by giving your youth players more general training.
As with your senior squad though, you may want to schedule more match preparation training during pre-season in order to make sure that a reasonably high level of tactic familiarity is gained in time for the start of the season. However, gaining tactic familiarity quickly is not as important as for your senior squad, while it is also not necessary to prepare more than one tactic at any point. As detailed in the Staff Roles guide, it is advisable to make sure that the staff members in charge of your under 21s squad and under 18s squad use your senior squad’s tactics, or if you prefer then you can choose to control these teams yourself and set their tactics on their respective Tactics tabs.
The match preparation training focus for your under 21s squad and under 18s squad can be set to Match Tactics while tactic familiarity is being gained. When tactic familiarity has reached a high level you can change it to Teamwork in order to increase team cohesion in these squads and improve overall performances.
Further details on setting up match preparation training are given in the Match Preparation Training guide.
When managing individual workloads for your youth players it is advisable to prioritise individual training over team training due to its importance for their development, as discussed below. You should therefore set the general training intensity level for your under 18s squad such that the team training overall workload remains at a reasonable level that will allow you to set a high amount of individual training. You may want to experiment with a medium overall workload and then reduce this to light if your under 18s squad is suffering a lot of training injuries.
It is recommended that you set the general training focus for your under 18s squad to balanced so that your youth players undertake a decent amount of work on all trainable attributes. These players can then be given a specialised focus in order to prepare them for your tactical style, if desired, when they join your under 21s squad or senior squad.
It is particularly important to set personalised individual training for your young players in order to shape their development as you desire. Ideally, this should be the case not only your hot prospects but also those players who you do not expect to play for your senior squad, as the better your players become the more valuable they will be.
Individual training for your under 21s squad and under 18s squad can be set either on their own Individual Training screens or by using the filters available on the screen for your senior squad.
Additional focus is the most important part of a young player’s training as it allows you to improve his weaknesses and prepare him for a tactical role. It is therefore advisable to set a heavy additional focus intensity for each of your youth players and to only reduce this for those players whose fitness related attributes mean they cannot handle their individual workload, as explained in the Player Fitness guide.
However, since you have less control over the team training overall workload for your under 21s squad (as they undertake general training with your senior squad), it is more likely that you will need to set a lighter additional focus intensity for players in this squad.
Details of how to set suitable additional focuses are given in the Additional Focus guide.
Players are able to learn positions more quickly while they are young and so it is most efficient to give a player this training when he is in the early stages of his career. Developing players who can play in two, or even three, different positions can provide huge benefits in the future.
Advice on setting suitable position training and details of the benefits of doing so are given in the Position Training guide.
Player Trait Training
If you want to teach a young player a new trait then it is advisable to do this through tutoring if possible rather than through player trait training, or alternatively you can wait until the player is older before training the trait. This is because player trait training takes away a considerable amount of individual training time from other individual training, while tutoring can potentially provide additional benefits as discussed in the Player Tutoring guide.
Your under 21s squad uses the same coaching assignments as your senior squad, but you will need to set assignments separately for your under 18s squad.
Advice on optimising the assignments of your coaches is given in the Assigning Coaches guide.