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Lower League Tips and Tricks 2.0

 

Credit to Dar J for the original idea

 

There are times it’s fun to pick a big club, wield their ginormous transfer kitties and buy yourself Trebles and quadruples on FM; there are also times when it’s fun to roll your sleeves up, go down to the muddy pitches of the lower leagues and drag yourself up the divisions. With boards in FMM17 being just as impatient as their real-life equivalents, you may find yourself turfed out the door with surprising regularity if you fail to adapt, and nobody wants that. This guide aims to help you become more a Graham Turner than a Graham Westley and stay long enough to come up from the Fourth to the First Division.

 

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Be more like this guy.....

 

6a00d8341c565553ef0162ff464ff2970d-800wi.jpg.21bc4e51c6e0f74e5ab5c70d6e2582c1.jpg

 

.... instead of this P45-collecting ponce-nugget!

Quick note: Most of these tips are colored in from my experience knocking around in the lower English leagues, so the mindset leans more towards that context.

 

1.       Dipping into the player pool

-          Setting up your database at the start of the save presents an interesting question, as it can shape the direction majority of your moves make. Do you go for a database range where your initial pool is shallow, but opens up more range for signings – or vice-versa, with a pool that helps you rocket up the leagues early but locks you out of phenoms long-term?  Don’t be afraid to test various database combinations for the best results, and take note of what certain countries tend to produce so you can plan ahead depending on what you want your squad to have.

 

2.       Squad-building 101

-          Remember that you’re not managing United or Chelsea that can afford 27-man squads and a zillion players out on loan; in signing players, jacks-of-all-trades tend to be worth more than specialists, at least until you reach at least League One/challenge for the promotion playoffs. Each signing matters due to small budgets so look for players that have relatively high primary stats for their roles and balanced stats in the others – and don’t be afraid to refresh the squad at intervals depending on where you are in the League.

 

3.       K.I.S.S(Keep it Simple, Sunshine)

-          Going along with the squad-building, it’ll be hard if not impossible to run esoteric tactics like gegenpressing or the Leicester version of 4-4-2 when your players run the gamut from Wayne Shaw-esque laddies to youth team cast-offs in League One; it’s sometimes just not technically or physically feasible to run those kinds of tactics. Don’t be ashamed in using basic 4-4-2 while you’re still climbing up the leagues, and use your planned tactic whenever possible with your youngsters to blood them in it.

 

4.       Work with the board

-          Before you even pick a season expectation, take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself if it truly is possible to achieve it without hitting a rich vein of form; if it doesn’t, go pick the next lower objective. It both shields yourself from underachieving and benefits you in the medium-term as board members are sometimes more amenable to requests after an unexpected success.

 

5.       Study your division

-          This really goes side-by-side with the 4th point but it’s also important – make sure you at least study the promotion structure in your league. Spain’s 3rd division and Lega Pro have funky promotion systems so make sure you find out exactly how you don’t get stuck there for a long time.

 

6.       Look around at how lucky(or unlucky) you are

-          Variances in facility quality are more pronounced at this level; factor this in everything you do, from picking expectations to tactics to your signings to how you go forward in building your team. Don’t be afraid to scout your planned club and see where they’re better at; if you have good training facilities, use that to attract relatively better players to your squad while you build up your youth systems; if your youth academy is the better-equipped, be confident in flooding your squad with your prospects.

 

7.       Club over all

-          I understand it’s tempting to keep your star players with you for the climb upwards the divisions a la Andy King or Ashley Williams; sometimes, the AI will make a bid for them though. If keeping them means the beginning of discontent within the squad and your season spinning out of control, don’t be afraid to let them leave – and use whatever funds you get to both bring in quality replacements in the short-term and invest in club facilities long-term.

 

8.       Do a Lincoln

-          Don’t be afraid to play a round of Cup roulette; it raises your club’s profile if you perform a giant-killing and can lead to funding facility upgrades if you do well and even nick a pot here or there. Never let a Cup run be detrimental to your League progress though – what’s the point of 30 FA Trophies and several scalps if you never leave the Conference? Let it go if it’s hampering your League form.

 

9.       Talk to your players

-          Morale management is just as important here, if not even more than the higher divisions since fired up players can and often will do more for you! Make use of the interactions as necessary – and never be afraid to give ‘em a rollicking if need be!

 

I hope these tips help you out and that you give the lower leagues a spin on your next save! Get out there and have fun!

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Very decent guide this! 

I couldn't agree more with number 7... if someone wants out then in my experience it's normally better to let them go, no matter how much you want to keep them. And then when their transfer fee helps you sign 3 decent players in return, it's a win all round. With Lower League teams I'm very much focused on who's good for that particular season, rather than long term players. There's not much room for sentiment, except maybe with the odd player.

One thing I would add is that it's always worth looking for players to sign that aren't under the 'interested category on the player search. You'll be surprised, sometimes you can attract a player that's a nobody elsewhere, in say the division above, but they will be a star for you. I also find that there's sometimes a player from maybe the Irish League, that stats-wise looks too good for you, but can be tempted by an offer, which is always very satisfying.  

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Great read and some really helpful tips, the only place I tend to struggle is training (i.e. Too many injuries/low condition) how do you setup your regimes?

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5 minutes ago, Brenty92 said:

Great read and some really helpful tips, the only place I tend to struggle is training (i.e. Too many injuries/low condition) how do you setup your regimes?

I'm working on that and it should be up next week Saturday hopefully  (I'm not promising)

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Great read this, I always enjoy lower league saves. I took concord from bottom league to the prem. Was 3rd season in the prem and stupidly saved over my save ?

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23 minutes ago, kylieboi88 said:

Great read this, I always enjoy lower league saves. I took concord from bottom league to the prem. Was 3rd season in the prem and stupidly saved over my save ?

Save your games in a different folder after certain intervals like at the end of every season or every January so even if you do something stupid like that you won't loose the whole save

I learnt that the hard way

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I love the idea of taking a team from the depths of non league to the heights of the Prestigious Prem league but I am never able to continue I always lose interest by mid way through the first season any Idea on how to fight on and continue playing

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7 minutes ago, Pogba said:

I love the idea of taking a team from the depths of non league to the heights of the Prestigious Prem league but I am never able to continue I always lose interest by mid way through the first season any Idea on how to fight on and continue playing

Personally I always run 2 saves simultaneously one with the lower league team and an easy one with a big team then I play the until I'm bored with the lower leagues so I move to the easier one where I usually find something that motivates me. It could be a tactic I'm building or a player that came through my academy

Another method is to give yourself short term goals for example I want to get at least 12 points in my next 5 games or I want to go 5 games unbeaten by doing that you'd find yourself progressing because you're eager to see if you'd achieve your goals or not.

Hope this helps

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thank you I will keep these in mind currently running a Liverpool save with the objective of creating a pure home grown talented squad.

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41 minutes ago, Dar J said:

Save your games in a different folder after certain intervals like at the end of every season or every January so even if you do something stupid like that you won't loose the whole save

I learnt that the hard way

I had 4 saves going in the for available slots and I dont upload my saves to cloud or whatever so I lost it all lol

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20 minutes ago, Pogba said:

what do you mean from my save or fmm itself

 

I mean the career you're playing 

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7 hours ago, KennyMiller27 said:

  Talk to your players

 

-          Morale management is just as important here, if not even more than the higher divisions since fired up players can and often will do more for you! Make use of the interactions as necessary – and never be afraid to give ‘em a rollicking if need be!

Player interaction is broken isn't it? Every time I try, no matter what I do, their morale always plummets

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46 minutes ago, CmonJustTheTip said:

Player interaction is broken isn't it? Every time I try, no matter what I do, their morale always plummets

Keep trying and don't over do it. Praise only when a player deserves it for example I won't praise a defender that got an 8 rating because he scored a hole while he attempted 10 headers and won only 1. He's job is to defend not to score so I'd judge his performance only based on that 

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6 hours ago, CmonJustTheTip said:

Player interaction is broken isn't it? Every time I try, no matter what I do, their morale always plummets

Not totally,though it does need some finesse - it's IT that's guaranteed to f*** morale up

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Reading this article inspired me to start a new llm save, decided to go with ebbsfleet purely because of the 'good' training facilities, it's going unbelievable, I actually have Charlie sheringham shining as the bright star in the family atm, teddy who?... Lol

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2 hours ago, Brenty92 said:

Reading this article inspired me to start a new llm save, decided to go with ebbsfleet purely because of the 'good' training facilities, it's going unbelievable, I actually have Charlie sheringham shining as the bright star in the family atm, teddy who?... Lol

Good luck man!Hope you post a career thread with it!Would love to see you fly up the leagues!

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Don't have the time to post as a thread unfortunately, it's my best ever first year to be honest, it's almost not believable how many goals we're scoring! Won the league after 30 games ?

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28 minutes ago, NucleusNT said:

can you suggest any decent tactics for the national league? want to start a wrexham career 

There's loads of tactics all over the forum just search by the tactics tag at the top.

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I normally play with Sugar Daddy unlocked, but mostly use it as a contingency plan, by putting most of the budget into wages and keeping it so I can have a large transfer budget when I hit the top 2 tiers...I dont invest stupidly in unrealistic transfers, I buy players on the cheap and there are some decent players willing to come to Vanarama Leagues, who I turn into a player with resale value.

I will sign cheap players from clubs at the same level and upto 2 divisions above and also older players on Bosman, and with the right tactics I can turn them into saleable assets...

Couple of examples being Harvey Saunders, but for about 20 large and sold for over 300 large...

I currently have Stephen Thompson, 28 large from Darlington, now worth over 2m.

Something else I do at lower league, I will contract greyed out players and transfer them out for between 10 and 20 large per player

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On ‎18‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 19:03, samhardy said:

There's loads of tactics all over the forum just search by the tactics tag at the top.

Hmm , I'm no sure there are any tactics at all for lower leagues. Or if there are, I certainly can't find any, and I've tried.

Thinking of point 3 in the guide at the top, I'm assuming simple means your bog standard 4-4-2 . However, I would not know at all what the roles/team tactics etc would be, or what kind of players stats would be pertinent in the lower divisions.

A lower league formation/roles/tactics/training/player stats guide would be very useful.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, baggister said:

Hmm , I'm no sure there are any tactics at all for lower leagues. Or if there are, I certainly can't find any, and I've tried.

Thinking of point 3 in the guide at the top, I'm assuming simple means your bog standard 4-4-2 . However, I would not know at all what the roles/team tactics etc would be, or what kind of players stats would be pertinent in the lower divisions.

A lower league formation/roles/tactics/training/player stats guide would be very useful.

 

 

 

A bog standard 4-4-2 is decent for lower leagues at least as a base to start with. something like this would be a decent place to start.

GK

FB CB CB FB

W DLP BBM W

TM or DLF AF or P

This would give you a base to start with. You can then tweak it as you play games EG. The wingers could be pushed further forward into the attacking midfield line if you want to be more attacking or the centre midfielders could be moved back into defensive midfield (you can't use BBM so maybe try a BWM or CM in defensive midfield) if you want to be more defensive. You may find that the roles need to be changed depending on the players you have that is why I have given couple of roles combinations upfront. A TM is good if you have a strong forward who is good in the air whereas a DLF would suit a striker who has good passing a creativity. AF tend to be more all round strikers with good shooting, aerial, pace but P are little more one dimensional and perhaps only have good shooting, movement and of course pace never hurts any where on the pitch.

With player stats in lower league you want the highest number you can get in as many vital stats as possible. It is unlikely you will find the perfect player with all the stats in lower league so concentrate on the main ones for his position with everything else he has a bonus.

This article is awesome and will give you much more detail to what I have said including all the stats you should look for in each position. 

Hope I have been some help.

 

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On 13/10/2017 at 18:10, FuddledFox said:

A bog standard 4-4-2 is decent for lower leagues at least as a base to start with. something like this would be a decent place to start.

GK

FB CB CB FB

W DLP BBM W

TM or DLF AF or P

This would give you a base to start with. You can then tweak it as you play games EG. The wingers could be pushed further forward into the attacking midfield line if you want to be more attacking or the centre midfielders could be moved back into defensive midfield (you can't use BBM so maybe try a BWM or CM in defensive midfield) if you want to be more defensive. You may find that the roles need to be changed depending on the players you have that is why I have given couple of roles combinations upfront. A TM is good if you have a strong forward who is good in the air whereas a DLF would suit a striker who has good passing a creativity. AF tend to be more all round strikers with good shooting, aerial, pace but P are little more one dimensional and perhaps only have good shooting, movement and of course pace never hurts any where on the pitch.

With player stats in lower league you want the highest number you can get in as many vital stats as possible. It is unlikely you will find the perfect player with all the stats in lower league so concentrate on the main ones for his position with everything else he has a bonus.

This article is awesome and will give you much more detail to what I have said including all the stats you should look for in each position. 

Hope I have been some help.

 

 

Thanks Fuddledfox - yes very help ful indeed. in my mind I was thinking that perhaps for lower leagues, maybe just have LM CM CM RM or LW CM CM RW. But ok cool very useful. I have read that tactical guide but decided it just didnt seem to apply to lower leagues ( where on earth can you possibly get 15 stats in the lower leagues? you can barely get them in the upper leagues)

What are your thoughts by the way on 3 defenders, ie CB CB CB? For lower leagues? Has this been tried?

 

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7 hours ago, baggister said:

I have read that tactical guide but decided it just didnt seem to apply to lower leagues ( where on earth can you possibly get 15 stats in the lower leagues? you can barely get them in the upper leagues)

The stats that are listed in the article are important and what you should be looking for. Obviously it is unlikely you will find players to sign with 15+ but you need to find the highest stats you can. As an example a midfielder playing in League 2 with 12 passing will be a good passer at that level of football. You need to remember that all the players at this level aren't great.  

Here are a couple of examples of players that have done well for me this year in League 2 and then League 1.

59e30e1fc3131_Screenshot_20171015-0826311.thumb.png.945b36277124cf838810fb0731ff0e7f.png  

I used Danny Rose in the national league and then league 2 on an Eastleigh save and was one of my best performers as a DLP or a CM. Look how well balanced his stats are. He doesn't excel at one thing but he can do almost everything to a decent level and that is important in the lower leagues especially in midfield. The game says he is a BWM but I wouldnt use him that way because he lacks strength so often you need to make your own decision on a players role.

59e30fe9369a5_Screenshot_20171015-0826381.thumb.png.b8df4d7fbfe271afead04c4c7e146ce0.png 

Christian Burgess is one of the best lower league CBs in my opinion and based on my experiance. He doesnt look much but look at some of the important stats for his position. With aerial of 16 he wont lose many headers and should be a threat from corners as well because a players height is taken into account with the aerial stat you can often find a high rating here even in lower leagues. If you look at his other important stats for a CB he has solid numbers. His Tackling, Decisions and strengh are decent for league 2 and his aggression, positioning and teamwork arent bad although it would be good if they grew a couple more points. He also has decent pace for a league 2 defender.

I hope this gives you some idea what to look for in lower league players.

7 hours ago, baggister said:

What are your thoughts by the way on 3 defenders, ie CB CB CB? For lower leagues? Has this been tried?

 

You can find some of my thoughts on 3 at the back in this article but yes 3 CBs can be effective in the lower leagues.

 

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