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My Approach to Finding the Best Coaching Staff in Football Manager 2020

I've updated my popular guide on how to find and sign the best coaching staff for your club. This guide will show you the steps I take to hire the best people available for the job!

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 coaching staff in Football Manager for my club.

The Training Facilities

If you want to be able to produce the best talent you can, you’re going to need to have the best possible coaching staff in Football Manager working for you. However, it goes without saying that having the best coaching 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 Info > Facilities and you’ll see the rating, which can be between poor and state of the art.

The Football Manager training facility levels from worst to best:

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

The current facilities at Brentford. The training facilities are Average, which means there’s a long way to go to improve these.

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It goes without saying that you should aim to get the best possible training facilities you can. This will assist in getting the best out of the players at your disposal. 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 Club Vision > 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 coaching staff are also important, and that’s what we’re here to talk about, so let’s get onto the good part!

Assessing Your Current Coaching Staff

Before you get started, one of the first screens you should familiarise yourself with is the coach view within the training area. 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. Below is the default setup of the coaches at Brentford.

Screenshot 2019-12-24 at 14.53.19.png

To find your Under 23s and any other squads you have, select the squad from the left-hand menu. If you do not see the squad, and only see Dev. Centre then you are not in control of that team and therefore you cannot change the training setup. If you want to take control, a quick way is to head to Dev. Centre > Select the squad from the top (click, don’t hover) > and then select responsibilities and take control.

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Assuming you are in control, or at least now you are, then select from left menu the squad you want to change >  Training > Coaches.

To edit the coaches select edit coach assignments from the top right and you will have the old-style coach assignment view, as below.

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For a Championship club, Brentford actually has their house in order when it comes to training, notwithstanding the two areas I cover with my high training rating as manager.

When you first enter training you will notice that your coaching staff in Football Manager 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 coaching staff attribute star ratings calculated?

Coaching Staff Attributes

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

Key Attributes for Fitness Training

  • Strength: Fitness
  • Aerobic: Fitness

Key Attributes for General Training

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

Key Attributes for Goalkeeping Training

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

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

Setting up Custom Coaching Staff Assignments

To customise the training I will hover the row of the coach and a mini-profile will appear at the bottom, which tells you their strongest training category and highlights the required attributes needed.

Screenshot 2019-12-24 at 15.17.10.png

Simply do this for all coaches and assign them to their strongest category.

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 Sam Saunders was to also train possession tactical, his three and a half star rating for possession technical would reduce.

Because we’ve not stretched our coaches across multiple training categories, we’ve improved in a lot of areas. With this in mind, we could improve our strength training from three stars. Time to check if the board will allow us to hire more.

How to Hire More Coaches in Football Manager

Screenshot 2019-12-24 at 15.30.04

To view how many coaches your board will allow you to hire, simply head to the staff area (selected from the left menu). 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 of six coaches appointed. So this gives us room to hire the extra coach that I need. If, however, we were at the maximum, we could ask the board to increase the number of coaches allowed.

Simply select Club Vision > 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 coaching 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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Next, we need to filter out some of these coaches, unless you want to look through 2,778 people found.

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 a fitness coach in so I will select fitness coach > strength.

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I can then refine my search deeper by making sure the attributes that are key for a strength training coach are high. In this case, we need good Determination, Level of Discipline and Motivating along with fitness 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, only one coach appears.

When searching for coaches based on their attribute values, you should put more of a priority on their coaching attributes than their mental attributes as the latter do not affect the rating as much.

If we want to see more, then it is a matter of reducing the attributes to see where we can perhaps get some more coaches appearing in our search. These will show in the background as you reduce down the attributes. It’s important to note that mental attribute values don’t affect the coaches rating as much as their coaching attributes do.

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Michael Lindeman of N.E.C is the only 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.

Michael Lindeman fitness rating
Michael Lindeman fitness rating

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

fmFutbolManager Coach Calculator

As it happens, Michael Lindeman is a pretty damn good fitness coach. He has four and a half stars in this area. We could do with another fitness coach for quickness, however, so the search for another 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.

Conclusion

It is pretty simple to set up a good coaching staff in Football Manager, provided you have the patience to search for the right coaching staff members. If you want to learn more about specific training, I have written a guide on my approach to training in Football Manager 2020.

So this about wraps it up.

As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!

Until next time.

Oliver Jensen

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