Club DNA and Scouting

This is a huge part of the game, as this links a lot of things together. I will go straight into what i am looking to achieve.

I want my team to be good on the ball, including defenders and keeper, intelligent off the ball and fast. It goes along with the Ajax Football Club TIPS philosophy

T – Technique

I – Intelligence

P – Personality

S – Speed

With this in mind, i want to compare the current crop of players to what i ultimately want. The core attributes i want in a perfect world (excluding keepers) are the following, regardless of position.

Concentration – The likelihood of a player losing focus during a game. With high pressing and a lot of the ball, the players need to focus on the overall game plan.

Composure – Cool when put under pressure with the ball, and in front of goal

Technique – The ability to pull off any of the technical attributes such as passing, first touch.

First Touch – Being able to control the ball, and set himself up for the his next move.

Teamwork – Willing to work for the team and be unselfish

Passing – How accurate they can pass the ball to their target.

Decisions – When playing a pressing game, it is important they know the right time to do press, when to make runs, when to pass etc

Acceleration – Speed off the mark. i need the players to be quick to get in position with the ball, and back into shape when they lose it.

Determination – The mother of all attributes. The higher this is, the more committed he will be to the cause. Also helps with other factors like training.

( I will call this CLUB DNA View)

This might  be a bit of an ask for players of the standard i am going to work with. So i am going to narrow this down to:

Determination, work rate, Acceleration, composure, Decisions. (Call this LLM Club DNA)

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 20.45.35

As you can see i can look at my squad to see who fits in and who doesn’t. The ones that aren’t quite what i am looking for, i will decide if i want to keep them or not. I don’t have the budget to get a whole new team and i will have to work with what i have to certain degree, but this is something to work towards in the future. The views also include Personality, so i can see the range of different ones in the squad.

I will then use the attributes in the LLM Club DNA view for my player searches. Once i have found a batch of players that fit, they go into the shortlist.

Here, i use views based on the squad views to see how they measure up. There will be attributes that i call ‘swing’ attributes that determine if i will sign them or not.

For Keepers, Aerial reach and Handling

Centre Back – Positioning, Acceleration and Jumping

Full back – Work rate, Acceleration, Crossing

Defensive Midfield – Positioning, Tackling, first touch

CMS – Off the ball, passing, tackling

IF’s – crossing, balance, off the ball

ST – Off The Ball. Finishing, Strength, Acceleration

These are what i consider to be most important for the position. You may have your own ideas on this, like i said this is how I play the game and by no means how everyone else should.

I try to sign players under 26 where possible. When i am looking for younger players i will use the same filters but maybe a few notches down.

How do you know that the attribute rating is good enough for your league?

In the team comparison section, you will see how you measure up against the league in terms of your average attributes. Here is a screen shot which i will explain

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 20.36.20

So, if you want your strikers to be more often than not faster than the fastest defenders in the league they will have to be rated 11 or more for acceleration (or whatever rating the best team has). Now, when you search for players you can use these figures as a guide so you can get as close as you can to the best in the league.


Now i need to have a look at some players. I have identified what i need according to what my current squad is lacking. I will break this down by position:


I need a top keeper in short. The ones i have are lacking in Aerial Reach and Handling and compared to the rest of the league aren’t as good. So this is job one.


Lacking in Positioning and Pace. No where near good enough compared to the rest of the league. So at least one new centre back, plus my best right back is not quick enough so another one needed here


This department is pretty good to be fair, only real thing i need is better tacklers, so this is the main thing i will look for.


Wide players are no problem here, too many if anything! I will need a Centre Forward though as the ones i have are too slow.

So i need:

Keeper, Centre Back, Right Back, Centre Mid, Striker. 5 Players. Could end up getting 7 if i go for 2 x CB’s and 2 x Strikers.

I have done a search using the LLM club DNA and it did not come up with a lot! So i will use the swing attributes mentioned a few paragraphs back to find players for these positions, and then use the LLM Club DNA view in the shortlist to see who is the best fit for the club.



Getting Started with Dulwich Hamlet

So the journey begins!


There are a number of things you want to do when you start off at a new club. I am going to break down the things that i do before i press CONTINUE and go forward with the game:

The Club

It is important that you check out a number of things on the club screen so you know what you are up against. Firstly Facilities. Get to know what standard of facilities you are working with. Training, Youth, Data Analysis, Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment. With Dulwich the screen looks a little like this:

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 18.33.59.png

Being a semi-pro club, you cannot expect to have anything special. If you have average or above for anything take it as a god send. We have basic training and youth facilities, fairly basic youth recruitment, but Average Junior Coaching. This means that the PA (potential ability) of academy players will get a boost. So we may get some decent youngsters through. Who knows!

Finance and Budgets

Have a look at the balance of the club, with Dulwich the balance is over £265k. This is amazing to start off with. However, lower league clubs will leak money like nobodys business unless you have good gates and dont go overboard on wages. On club finances, this is something you have less control over than other aspects so be careful when managing in the lower leagues. Have a look at the transfer budget and wages and see where you are. With Dulwich i have a transfer budget of £6.5k and i have £650 p/w left in my wage budget. What i normally do is adjust this and pump the transfer funds into the wage budgets. I NEVER  pay a fee for anyone until at least League One, so i will use the wage budget on free transfers and loans.

Training and Coaches

If your training and youth facilities are not great, i normally wouldn’t spend too much time on training schedules as the effects will be pretty minimal. Plus, any youth players are unlikely to have amazing PA. Add to this that most clubs at this level will be Semi-pro.

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 18.38.52

As you will see from the graphic, i literally have only 4-5 training slots. So i will go with what my Assistant suggests until i learn a bit more about training as it is has had a massive overhaul this year.


This is new. It splits your players into GK unit, Defensive and Attacking Units.

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 18.39.44.png

You can drag players in between each unit depending on their role. Example:

You play a wide 4-3-3 as below (this is my base tactic).

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 18.56.26.png

The left sided CM is not expected to do as much attacking as the right sided, so i may choose to include him in the defensive unit if some of his defensive attributes need work. Another example could be if you had a wing back whos job is to bomb up and down and you are not worried about him defending a lot, then he can go into the attacking unit. I am sure you get the idea! You can move youth players into the units if you wish as well.

Mentoring Groups

I may talk about this in another article. This has replaced tutoring, where you can assign players to mentoring groups so they can learn off each other. You can ask your assistant to do this for you, so i will do this to begin with.


This is where you can assign a player to learn a certain role. This has to be based around 1) what positions they are playing in 2) what attributes they need to work on. Some roles will cover a lot of attributes and some not so much. Ideally, particularly with lower league players, i tend to choose roles that concentrate on few attributes. This way the training is more concentrated on essential attributes for their role in the team. I will go into more detail on how this ties in with Core Attributes for my style of play.


In the lower leagues, you will get 1-2 coaches to begin with, plus an Assistant. My usual policy if you only have 2 coaches is to get a GK coach and Fitness Coach. Or if you can find a general coach with good attributes for fitness coaching get him! Fitness is the most important at the lower leagues as physical attributes count for a lot. As GK is specialist position you dont want to overlook this. You can also help with general training as well as the assistant. Getting an assistant with good ratings for Judging Ability and Potential is absolutely key at any level, as he will give you opinions on star ratings and performances. Personality is also key for any of your backroom staff. Professional, Fairly Professional, Resolute, Determined, Fairly Determined are great, Model Professional is one of the best. The personalities will rub off onto the players, in particular the younger ones. The personality effects so much in the game including development. So having coaches who are this way inclined is key in my opinion.


Setting up your scouting is a good thing to do before you get going. If you have a clear idea of what you want from any new players, you can set up filters and views to help you look at who is available and how they fit into your system. I split this up into the player filter search, scouted players and the shortlist. I will do a separate article on my methods as they are quite specific.

The Squad

You are nothing without your players, so you need to get a good handle on what you have at your disposal. A good way of doing this is using the assistants opinion on their current and potential ability. However i wouldn’t rely on this totally. I use views and look at GKs, defenders, midfielders and attackers separately. An example:

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 19.53.03.png

Here am looking at all my defenders with a view tailored to the attributes i want them to have. If you notice that you are lacking players with a certain attribute, then you will need players in to plug the gap.

Spending time on this is very important. Identify where you are strong, where you are weak etc. You will then get an idea of how you might want to play, and where you need to bring in new players.


The big one. This is where you will have frustration, doubt, joy, satisfaction and everything inbetween. You can download tactics from forums if you want to. Thats fine if you want to do it this way. I have done it loads of times and if you are new to the game, i would start this way and then learn how to adapt them to how you want to play. The tactic creator in FM2019 gives you a good starting point on certain styles, you can customise your own however.  A few tips that i have learned over the years:

1: Have a BASE tactic. Say a 4-3-3 wide. Set up the team and individual instructions how you want them, do your set pieces and set piece takers. Then if you want to make different versions simply copy this into the other slots and work on them individually. The reason i do this is so the set piece takers and instructions are copied across so you dont have to redo them all. You can also save the set piece instructions and upload them to a new tactic if you want to do it that way.

2: Opposition instructions are a good way to further enhance your tactic, but it can damage it too so be careful! If you press a lot and also tell your players to close down on the opposition instructions you will end up with a hot mess! You can set pressing traps using them and other things, and they can be very handy. You can of course not use them at all. Try things out and see how they go

3: Dont expect the tactic you start with, to be the one you use more regularly. You will have to apapt as you go if you see certain things happening such as having too high a defensive line and getting caught over the top or losing possession in certain areas. This game is so much more advanced and the AI managers are clever and adapt to what you are doing and your weaknesses. Once you have played with your tactic for 10 or more games you will know how things sit and if you need to change anything.

These are the things i do to get myself started in the game. I will go into more detail as we go further into the game and i get familiar with the different features in this years game.

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The Journey Begins…

Thanks for joining me!

So its Football Manager 2019 time, and where do we begin?

IOTS Log (1)

I have been playing FM since 1996, so over 20 years. It has given me a lot of joy over the years, stopping me sleeping like a normal person and made me late for work countless times!! This year will be no different!

I am going to start this journey in the English Leagues as i normally do, and i will also do an Italian Lower League save. Just for fun, i am planning on doing a journeyman save in either Asia or South America, not decided on that one yet. My core save will be the England LLM save so i will get going on this one to get a feel for the game.

So who am i going to be?


Dulwich Hamlet Football Club is a football club in south London, England. They are currently members of the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, and are temporarily tenants of Tooting & Mitcham Unitedat their Imperial Fields ground as a result of a dispute with the owners of Champion Hill, the club’s home since 1912.

In September 2013 it became the first football ground in Greater London to be listed as an Asset of community value, but this was withdrawn by Southwark Council not long after, due to a legal technicality. In February 2014, Champion Hill was bought for £5.7m by Meadow Residential. In March 2018 the company forced the club out of the ground, resulting in a temporary groundshare with rivals Tooting & Mitcham, at their Imperial Fields stadium. In October 2018 it was announced that an agreement had been reached to allow the club to return to Champion Hill.

The club has a lot of history and there are a lot of articles online about them. Their history and recent struggles has resonated with me, and it would be awesome to make them a superpower in European Football!

I have managed them before in FM 2016 and took them to the Premier League, then got too big for my boots and went to Liverpool! It ruined the save for me to be honest as they soon fell away and got relegated. This time, i will see it through until the mighty Dulwich are Champions of Europe!

I will post a blog about my first few weeks in the post, it will also give me an insight into the new features of FM2019, notably the tactic and training.

Very soon i will also be doing some live game play and walkthroughs on aspects of the game. I will do it how I play the game. Some of my methods will be the same as others, but i have developed a certain style on how i do things, so hopefully others will take some tips from how i do things.

See you in the next blog!

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