Football Manager 2023: How to play a Youth Only save

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Football Manager 2023 is set to come out later this year.

The franchise follows an annual release schedule and, while FM23 has yet to be announced, we expect it to come out in the next couple of months.

As a result, we’ve been taking a very close look at the kind of saves you can undertake when FM23 releases later this year.

We’ve already written about a potential Moneyball save, outlining the rules of such a save, while we’ve also given you a guide on how to do a Director of Football save.

Both are very fun ways of playing the game but there are a variety of challenges you can set yourself in the world of Football Manager; that is part of the reason why the game is so popular.

As a result, we’ve also looked at how best to take on a Youth-Only save, where you’ll try to nurture the next generation of talent and win something with kids.

How to do a Youth Only Save on FM23

FM23 (Dexerto)

Now, we should say here that this is not a save where you’re going to go off and hoover up wonderkids left, right, and centre.

That happens in most saves eventually anyway if you play the game properly, so this is a more unique way of focusing on the players of tomorrow.

Indeed, you won’t be signing anyone, much like the DoF save, and you’ll instead be at the mercy of your youth academy, and your youth intakes.

Here are the rules.

  • You can pick any club. If you really want to do this with Manchester City, you can, but be wary that they like their managers to sign high-reputation players, and you won’t be doing that. This probably works best with a more middle-of-the-road team with a fair budget that can be spent on upgrading the youth facilities.
  • You cannot buy a single player. No loans, no transfers, no part-exchanges. You can sell players when they reach their peak values or if a huge bid is tabled for them, but you must not replace them with a purchased player.
  • You can extend contracts so that you’re keeping your youngsters on the books.
  • The squad you have at the start of the game can be used. For example, if you took over at Tottenham Hotspur, you would be able to use their summer signings.
  • You can’t use players that are signed by the board or your Director of Football. If players are purchased in such a way, stick them in the reserves and try to move them on as soon as possible.
  • You can spend money on your backroom team and your youth academy. You should do this.
  • Set your coaching badges so they fall in line with the league you’re managing in.
  • If you get sacked, it’s game over. You can’t just take another job and keep going.

Now, beyond that, we’ve also taken a look at some tips for how to maximise your time with the youngsters!

  • Focus on the squad you have at the start and loan your youngsters out. If they’re not going to get game time, send them to a club where they will be an important player so they can develop away from the club.
  • As soon as a player hits 30, move them on. Eventually, you’ll have a full squad of players under the age of 27, which is the sweet spot.
  • Spend money wisely on your staff. There’s no point investing in scouts because you won’t use them. Spend on coaches and on upgrading your youth academy.
  • Use mentoring. If you’re at Spurs and you’ve got Harry Kane in the first few seasons, put him in a mentoring group with some of the up-and-coming stars of the future in the academy. He’ll rub off on them and their attributes will improve.
  • If a young player stalls or sees his ability begin to decrease, sell him. There’s no point in keeping a player who isn’t improving.
  • Don’t put a release clause in! If you’re at a lower club, it might be tempting to put release clauses into contracts in order to keep the player around, but there will always be vultures who are willing to pay big money for top prospects.
  • Don’t panic. This save is difficult and you might face some tough moments, especially when your kids are developing.

This one isn’t easy but it might be one of the most satisfying saves in Football Manager if you’re able to have some real success.

Let us know how you get on!

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