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My Approach to Finding the Best Coaching Staff in Football Manager 2018

Football Manager Guides | Coaching Staff

Welcome to the next instalment of the ‘my approach to…’ series. In this post, I talk about how I hire the best available staff for my club in each edition of Football Manager.

As always, you can get hold of me via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager


In Football Manager 2018, if you want to be able to produce the best talent you can, you’re going to need to have the best possible coaches working for you. However, it goes without saying that having the best staff in the world is pretty useless if your facilities are poor.

To state the obvious, your training facilities are what your first team and other squads, e.g., reserves, will use when training. The youth facilities are used by newgens before they are promoted to your youth team and become visible in game. To view your current facilities, head to Club > Facilities and you’ll see the rating, which can be between poor and state of the art.

  • Poor
  • Basic
  • Below Average
  • Adequate
  • Average
  • Good
  • Great
  • Superb
  • Excellent
  • State of the Art

The current facilities as Wolves. The training facilities are superb, which means they’re already at one of the top levels.

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You want to get the highest possible training facilities as you can. This will assist in producing the best talent available. To improve the training facilities you can ask your board to improve them. You’re likely to have more chance of them saying yes if they hold you in high regard and if it is part of the clubs philosophy to improve the current players rather than signing high-profile players for the first team. This isn’t a given, and the board could equally accept or refuse the request.

To find out, head to Board > Make Board Request > Facilities > Improve Training Facilities.

From here you can give a number of reasons why you think they should improve. I tend to use the options that are specific to the goals of the board when I take over.

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So, facilities are important, and this is a very short section on how to improve them, but the staff are also important, and that’s what we’re here to talk about, so let’s get onto the good part!


Before you get started, one of the first screens you should familiarise yourself with is the coach view within training. You will be able to set these up for each of the squads your club has e.g., First Team, Under 23s etc. To access your first team coaches head to Training > Coaches and you will probably find something like this. The below is the default setup of the coaches at Wolves.

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To find your Under 23s and any other squads you have, select from the left menu Under 23s > Training > Coaches

It’s pretty obvious right away that we are stretched rather thin. We only have two fitness coaches and a goalkeeping coach within the coaching staff. We don’t actually have any general first-team coaches. These general training tasks are being performed by Managers and Assistant Managers.

When you first enter training you will notice that your coaches are usually spread across multiple training areas. This is to ensure the training category workload is low. However, this also means that you are not getting the most out of them since their star rating reduces the more categories they train.

Note: The star rating for each category uses the lead coach rating, i.e., the coach with the best rating. So if you have two coaches training tactics, one with a three-star rating and one with a four-star rating, the quality of the coaching will be four stars and the workload will reduce as you add more coaches to it.

You will find that the workload of your coaches will increase as your squad grows and so you may need to think about having what I call floating coaches.  These are coaches who don’t have a specific training category they are best at. I will assign them to every coaching category, as this will reduce the workload without reducing the lead coach quality.

So, how are the staff attribute star ratings calculated?


By now you should be aware that the three key mental attributes for your coaches are: Determination, Level of Discipline, and Motivation (DDM). These three mental attributes are required for all coaches in each of the three disciplines. What determines their coaching category, however, are their coaching attributes.

The following are required in addition to the DDM attributes for each speciality

Fitness training

  • Strength: Fitness
  • Aerobic: Fitness

General Training

  • Tactics: Tactical and Mental
  • Ball Control: Mental and Technical
  • Defending: Defensive and Tactical
  • Attacking: Attacking and Tactical
  • Shooting: Attacking and Technical


  • Shot Stopping: GK – Shot Stopping
  • Handling: GK – Handling
  • Distribution: GK – Distribution

Note: in-game you’re shown that goalkeepers also need technical or tactical attributes, however, it doesn’t appear that these are used in the calculation.

Now that we know the desired attributes for each assignment, it’s time to set up our custom coaching.


To customise the training I will select the row of the coach and a mini-profile will appear at the end on the right, which tells you their strongest training category. If you then select that training category it will highlight the required attributes needed. Simply do this for all coaches and assign them to their strongest category. The below is a revamped training view.

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Now that we have set up the assignments manually, you can see that we’ve improved considerably. This is because in Football Manager if a coach covers more than one category, his ability to do the job decreases, e.g., if Rui Pedro Silva was to also train attacking and shooting, his three-star rating for tactics would possibly reduce.

Because we’ve not stretched our coaches across multiple training categories, we’ve improved in almost all areas, e.g., you can see that we’ve gone from having two and a half stars in ball control coaching to three and a half stars.

With this in mind, we have a couple of spaces. We need an attacking coach and one who can coach shooting. Time to check if the board will allow us to hire more.


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To view how many coaches your board will allow you to hire, head to the boardroom by selecting Board. Within the staff panel, you can see how many staff you have in each role and the advised (maximum) number. Fortunately, we only have three of a maximum five coaches appointed. So this gives us room to hire the two extra coaches that we need. If, however, we were at the maximum, we could ask the board to increase the number of coaches allowed.

Simply select Board > Make Board Request > Staff > Coaches Allowed and like with facilities you have to convince them to let you spend more on coaching staff.

To find and make offers for staff members, head to Staff > Staff Search and from here you’ll be presented with the staff search screen and a lot of staff members.

The first thing I do is change the view to one that gives me an overview of all important attributes.

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Download my Staff Data Export view here: fmFutbolManager | Staff Data Export

Once you have downloaded the file, place it in the views folder: Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2018 > Views and then head back to the game.

Select custom from the staff view drop down and then import view.

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Once the view is set up, you should refine your staff search, so head to New Search on the top right. Select the appropriate staff role, whether you want to filter for unemployed coaches only (useful if you don’t have a lot of money available to pay compensation), and any reputation.

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Then, under attributes, select the Pick button to choose the attributes required for your staff member. Using the Highlight key attributes for role drop-down, select Coach Roles > Coach > the role you’re looking to fill. In my case, I’m looking to get an attacking coach in so I will select attacking.

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I can then refine my search deeper by making sure the attributes that are key for an attacking coach are high. In this case, we need good Determination, Level of Discipline and Motivating along with Tactical and Attacking coaching.

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I have left the default condition for the attributes to be at least 15. However, we can change this at a later date if we don’t have any staff appear in our search. As it happens, unsurprisingly, no staff appear. And even if they did, I wouldn’t have thought that they would be interested in a move to Wolves.

So then it is a matter of reducing the attributes to see where we can perhaps get some coaches appearing in our search. These will show in the background as you reduce down the attributes. What I tend to do is set the Determination, Level of Discipline and Motivating to ‘is between’ as the mental attribute values don’t affect the coaches rating as much as their coaching attributes do.

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David Lowe of Blackburn is the first coach to match our preferences. What I will then do is run his attributes through my coach star rating calculator to see how many stars he has to make sure that he is good enough. For Championship level I would be looking at around three and a half stars as the minimum rating.

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If you would like to use my coach calculator, you can do so here:

fmFutbolManager Coach Calculator

As it happens, David Lowe is a pretty damn good shooting coach. He has four stars in this area so we will sign him as a shooting coach as this is another area we need to cover anyway. The search for an attacking coach continues…

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I will repeat this exercise for each of the positions I need to fill for all squads to ensure I have sufficient coverage.


It is pretty simple to set up a good coaching team, provided you have the patience to search for the right staff members. if you want to learn more about specific training, I would advise heading over to Tea & Busquets where there are plenty of training articles posted by @Cleon81

So this about wraps it up. If you have any questions or want to get in touch with anything related to hiring the best possible coaching team for your club, send me a message on Twitter @fmFutbolManager, or you can reply to this post below and I’ll get back to you. I’d love to hear your thoughts and see if there’s anything you do differently that I can adapt for my game.

Until next time, arrivederci.



Please leave me a comment below.

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