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Thread: Sensible to buy youth prospects for the reserve team of lower League Clubs?

  1. #1

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    Sensible to buy youth prospects for the reserve team of lower League Clubs?

    Pardon my not perfect English, it is not my native language.

    I currently manage Scarborough in the Conference (5th tier).

    The general value of a player is quite low at this level. Most players are valued around 10-20k, although a few are as highly valued as around 100k.

    This got me thinking that I should perhaps deviate from my usual strategy? That strategy is to often buy a lot of youth prospects who might sit in the reserves or get loaned out for a few easons. Untill at a later point many of them become first team players or get sold on for a profit.

    However I wonder if that strategy is sensible at Conference level (or even Division 2-3/League 1-2 level for that matter). The youth prospects I am buying with Scarborough are on 90-400 a week even with a 'hot prospect' status. So that makes a yearly wage for a single youth reserve player of around 4.5k-20k per year. That makes me wonder whether buying such players is actually good business.

    So I guess my more specific question is: What kind of wages should I be paying at the most for youth prospects who are unlikely to feature in the first team anytime soon? For example, paying a youth reserve player around 300-400 a week = 15-20k a year whilst his value might be as low as 10-16k might not be very clever?

    By the way, I will most likely get promoted this season (1st season, mid december 2001). A promotion could perhaps increase the value of the players a bit, so that buying many youth prospects might be somewhat sensible after all? I am currently 1st in the League, 8-9 Points clear of the second placed team, at around the halfway mark of the season.

    I should probably also mention, this experience and this potential problem is totally new to me. Because I have never managed a lower league team before. So of course this problem barely exists in teams like Sunderland (my personal favourite team) and Man Utd that I have usually managed. At such clubs the wage/player value ratio is of course totally different. And it doesn't seem to matter whether a youth prospect earns 0.5k, 1k, 2k a week or whatever.

    I should probably also mention that I personally consider it cheating/boring/too easy to buy players based on my own knowledge of those players from forums, previous saves etc. So the chance of me buying a certain player is the same whether I have knowledge from outside my current save, that the player is actually good or bad. I prefer that the decision whether to buy a given player or not is based on criteria such as star ratings, scout/coach recommendations etc. And now possibly also wage demands should be taken into consideration to a great extend, even for 'cheap' youth prospects. So this preference is also part of why I ask about this stuff. Otherwise I could of course just buy cherry picked youth players, using my generaly knowledge of the game. But personally I don't find that any fun or challenging. Also, I don't want to buy players and sell them a week or a month later or something, I also find that too easy and boring, not challenging, not realistic.

    Anyway, I will greatly appreciate any input regarding these questions about buying many youth reserve prospects at low tier. Thanks in advance,

    By the way, it is quite astonishing how many good Portuguese freebies who want to move abroad for crap wages. A bit amusing. And surprising when you're not used to it. Strange why the programmers made Portuguese players stand out like that, a minor bug I guess, doesn't make much sense.

    Best regards,

  2. #2
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    Your Mother
    When in lower divisions, genuine youth prospects are all likely to be almost first team ready. Anything that's not is probably not worth buying. Also, youth players develop quicker by playing games so again stockpiling is only adding to the wage bill rather than developing players out so that bigger teams buy them - which is the basis for getting youth players in lower leagues generally. Of course some are squad filler due to economic reasons.

    In terms of wages strategy, the lowest they will accept is always the best way to look at things. For a really top prospect give as much as you can. If they are good enough you can sell him asap if finances get really stretched

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  4. #3

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    Took the words out of my mouth

  5. #4
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    In lower leagues usually no, it's not really worth it. You will probably need the budget to optimize your main squad.
    You might rise through the ranks so fast that your budget lags behind. At least, that usually happens to me, when I try rags to riches.
    I tend to keep promoting until I end up in a high league with players that can't really handle that level and no budget to buy new players.

    On the other hand, though, I always try to have at least one scout looking for youth players, and I sign the promising ones he finds.
    Those usually end up in the reserve squad during their first few months at the club, and if they improve, I try them in the first team.

    I can't say whether this is "correct strategy" though. I just like to try youth players. If I have more budget, I usually have like 3 scouts looking for them at all times.

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