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One of the most pivotal roles that could define your team’s destiny – the Head of Youth Development (HoYD).
Imagine a role so influential that it not only sculpts the raw talent of youthful prospects but also imprints a lasting legacy on your club’s future.
The HoYD is a crucial staff role in the game, responsible for several key aspects of youth development at a football club.
In my opinion, these are the three best HOYDs in FM 2024.
Below, you can find a big list of other top choices.
What Should I Look for In Head of Youth Development: Primary Responsibilities
Here are some of the primary responsibilities and factors associated with the HoYD role:
- Youth Player Recruitment: The HoYD plays a significant role in bringing new youth players (newgens) into the club. They influence the type of players recruited in terms of position, playing style, and potential.
- Influencing Player Personalities: The personality of the HoYD can impact the personalities of the youth players. A HoYD with a positive personality (like Model Professional or Determined) can positively influence the development and attitude of young players.
- Tactical and Training Preferences: The HoYD’s preferred tactics and training style can influence the types of players that come through the youth system. For example, a HoYD who favors a technical style may focus on recruiting and developing technically skilled players.
- Judging Player Ability and Potential: These attributes determine how accurately the HoYD can assess the current ability and future potential of youth players. This is important for identifying which youth players have the potential to succeed at the club.
- Working with Youngsters: This attribute reflects the HoYD’s ability to effectively work with and develop young talent.
- Long-term Impact: Changes made to the HoYD can take several years to manifest in the quality of youth intakes. The HoYD’s influence is a long-term investment in the club’s future.
- Integration with Club Philosophy: Aligning the HoYD’s preferences with the club’s overall playing philosophy and tactical approach can lead to more seamless integration of youth players into the first team.
- Development and Training: Besides recruitment, the HoYD also contributes to the development and training of young players, often working closely with youth coaches.
What Makes for a Good Head of Youth Development: Crucial Attributes
In Football Manager, the effectiveness of a Head of Youth Development (HoYD) largely depends on a combination of their attributes and personal characteristics.
Based on my experience the most important attributes for a HoYD are:
- Judging Player Potential: This attribute determines how well the HoYD can identify the future potential of young players. A higher rating means they are more likely to spot players who could become stars.
- Judging Player Ability: This reflects the HoYD’s ability to assess the current skill level of young players. It’s crucial for understanding how close a youth player is to being ready for first-team action.
- Working with Youngsters: This attribute indicates the HoYD’s skill in training and developing young players. A higher rating suggests they are more effective at improving the abilities of younger players.
- Personality: The personality of the HoYD can influence the personalities of the youth players coming through the academy. Personalities like Model Professional, Determined, or Resolute are beneficial as they can positively impact the development of young players.
- Determination: This attribute can influence the HoYD’s ability to improve and develop young players, as well as their overall effectiveness in their role.
- Adaptability: While not as crucial as the other attributes, adaptability can be beneficial, especially if the club is bringing in young players from different countries or cultures.
- Tactical Knowledge: This can be important if the club wants the youth teams to play in a similar style to the first team, ensuring a smoother transition for young players moving up.
How did we create a list of the best HoYD? We chose to include these attributes:
|Judging Player Potential
|Judging Player Ability
|Working with Youngsters
List of the Best Heads of Youth Development in FM
How To Pick the Right Head of Youth Development: Additional Considerations
When choosing the best Head of Youth Development (HoYD) in Football Manager, several additional considerations are important:
- Long-Term Strategy: The HoYD’s impact is often seen in the long term. It’s important to consider how they fit into your club’s future plans, not just immediate needs.
- Compatibility with Club’s Tactical Style: The HoYD should ideally have a tactical style and preferred formation that aligns with the club’s current or desired playing style. This ensures a smoother transition for youth players moving up to the senior team.
- Youth Development Network: The HoYD’s connections and knowledge of various youth networks, both domestic and international, can significantly enhance the quality and diversity of youth intakes.
- Personality Influence on Youth Players: The personality of the HoYD can impact the development and attitude of youth players. Positive personalities can foster a better learning environment and influence the character of newgens.
- Staff Dynamics: The ability of the HoYD to work effectively with other staff members, particularly those in coaching and scouting roles, is crucial for a harmonious and productive youth development setup.
- Financial Considerations: Balancing the cost of hiring a high-quality HoYD with the club’s budget constraints is important. An expensive HoYD might not always be feasible, and sometimes a less costly option with potential for growth could be more strategic.
- Experience and Track Record: The HoYD’s past experience and success in developing young talent can be a good indicator of their potential effectiveness at your club.
- Mentoring and Development Skills: Beyond just scouting and recruitment, the HoYD should have strong skills in mentoring and developing young players, contributing to their growth both on and off the pitch.
- Adaptability to Change: The HoYD should be adaptable to changes within the club, such as shifts in management, playing style, or club objectives.
- Impact on Training Programs: The HoYD’s influence on the training and development programs for young players is significant. They should be able to contribute positively to the overall development strategy of the youth academy.
In summary, the ideal HoYD in Football Manager is not just about having high ratings in key attributes.
It’s also about how well they fit into the club’s broader strategy, philosophy, and operational context, their ability to work within the club’s financial constraints, and their potential to positively influence the club’s future.
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