H is for Homegrown Players by @Amelia9896.
There is no right or wrong way to play Football Manager, but for myself and many others, one thing that brings the most satisfaction is taking a young player with flaws and watching as they develop into a top star in your developing XI.
As fun as it can be to develop an Ivorian wonderkid from ASEC Mimosas or an Australian from the CU Academy, it’s even more satisfying when the luck of the draw Youth Intake sends you someone homegrown to mould into the perfect player for your squad. This comes with the obvious benefits of registration rules, but to me, seeing a player that came through your own system come through to the top level or even contribute before moving on when your squad develops past them.
In my own save it’s fair to say I’ve been blessed with homegrown quality, so much so that when I was in the Championship with Spennymoor, I was given a 2.5-star keeper at age 15, and it’s fair to see he’s developed decently (with a release clause detour via Inter Milan).
Types of Homegrown Players
There are two different types of homegrown players: those that are trained in the nation between the ages of 15 and 21, and those that are trained at the club between 15 and 21 years old. Depending on the league or continental competition that you compete in, these are major factors in the registration process, so it can be essential to have these within your club.
This is why even if your youth intake doesn’t bless you with a first-team quality player, it can be worth signing players in-nation or from abroad and keeping them at your team or training with the U21s team long enough that they’re able to contribute towards the registration rules.
Finally, I think the appeal of a homegrown player (at least for me personally) can lead to chances being given to a player that, if they weren’t homegrown, wouldn’t have gotten the shot, and recently, in my own personal save, it showed me that maybe attributes aren’t all they seem. This is my homegrown star, Kevin Bakayoko.
Ultimately, for me, as good as assembling a super squad and spending multi-millions can be, there’s something even more satisfying about developing your own players and making megastars from the youth you’re given.
Fancy one of Football Manager’s toughest challenges? Pick a team with strong youth facilities and try a homegrown-only challenge; trust me, it’ll change the way you see the game.
For previous A-Z entries, please visit: The A-Z of Football Manager.