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Training in FM 2011
There are some good changes to the training in FM 2011. It is vitally important to get your training schedules set up correctly and to maximise the skills of your staff to aid player development. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can go with the default settings and auto assign your staff but it pays to get more involved.
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In FM 2010 your players would be divided into two training groups, Goalkeepers and General. The obvious problem is you don’t want strikers to be doing the same training as central defenders. In FM 2011 the players are divided into training schedules by position so you have:
For the most part your team will be divided up correctly but new signings or players who can play in several positions will often be dumped in General by default.
If you don’t like the schedules you can create your own by going to the Schedules tab and selecting New Schedule – Full Time Schedule from the bottom. Simply pick a name for your new schedule and use the sliders on the right to choose the training focus. Try to make sure you don’t make the workload too heavy or your players will not be in tip top condition for matches.
Once you have created and saved some schedules you can go to Manage Schedules at the bottom and import. This is a great time saver for new games.
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You can also decide on player training from each individual player profile. Just select the player you want and choose the Training tab. You get a wealth of information here and you can see how they are developing over time. In addition to being able to select the Training Schedule you can also choose an Individual Training Focus such as Marking or Strength, and you can train them to play a New Position.
The Attribute and Position Development tabs on the right will reveal how they are getting on in this regard. You have to be careful though, if you select an Individual Training Focus or a New Position then each will take up 10% of their training time and it will be deducted from the time they spend on their normal training schedule. It’s best to only do one at a time and training players for new positions is something that should only be used in rare circumstances. For example, if you have a small squad and want more defensive cover then training a central defender to cover right back as well can be a good idea.
The final aspect of individual player training is making suggestions through Private Chat and this can determine their Preferred Move Training. For example you might want to tell them to avoid using their weaker foot or to play more one twos. You’ll get suggestions about this from your staff as well, but once again be careful because this will take 20% of their training focus. If you give a player too much to do in training their performances will suffer.
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In order to train up your team in Football Manager 2011 you need decent coaching staff. When you start at your new club take a quick look at your staff and see if anyone needs replacing. If you have a Coach with poor stats then go for Mutual Termination and get rid of them. A Fitness Coach with a Fitness rating of 4 is probably not going to do a great job.
You can auto assign your coaches but I prefer to do it myself. When you first start the game your coaches will tell you what they think they are best at. You can also see pretty clearly for yourself by checking their profile stats. I’d recommend making sure you have a strong coach in each area – Attacking, Defending, Fitness, Goalkeepers, Technical and Tactical. The other stats are like the icing on the cake and obviously anyone you employ as a Youth Coach needs a good rating for Working with Youngsters.
If you check out the Coaches tab on the Training screen you’ll see at a glance how well covered your training is. Each area gets a star rating and you can assign your coaches however you like. At a big club you’ll be able to target a specialist for every area but at smaller clubs you’ll need people who can cover more than one thing.
When you go on the hunt for new coaches you should select people with the best reputation. You should also check out their preferred Tactics. If they chime with your own approach then they’ll be a good fit at your club.
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If your club has some spare cash and you don’t think the training facilities are up to scratch then you can always make a Boardroom Request. You can ask them to improve the facilities for the first team or for the youth players and there are a few potential reasons you can give. Boardroom requests are always a bit risky so be careful about how you handle this. If your club has no cash and is heavily in debt then there’s no point in trying this.
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The final aspect of your training is an all-new feature for Football Manager 2011. The Match Preparation screen allows you to set up three different formations for your next match. This will take up 30% of your player’s training workload. The best way to use it is to set up your various tactics on the Tactics screen, save them and name them, and then select the three you want on the Match Preparation screen. The more your players practice a formation the better they will get. You can also set a Special Focus Area and you can check on the team’s progress with each different tactic using the tabs along the top.
That takes us neatly to the next guide - it will focus on Tactics and Formation in Football Manager 2011.