Football Manager, for me, is not a game in which I play for big clubs and buy expensive players and worlwide stars for many years. Just conversely. I love games with small clubs with which I try to move as high as it goes. I’m trying to build a club with young promising players. With players from own academy. I try to educate them and possibly profit from their sales.
In Football Manager 2015 I play for Scottish club Spartans FC. The main idea from the beginning of the game is to build a strong academy from which players will move to Senior squad. As many as possible.
And this is the story about one of them. The story of which I have always the greatest joy. The story about a young player who has not played even for the Under 20 team, but gradually worked his way up to the national team. The story about defender Gregor Smyth.
Gregor Smyth, February 2021.
He came to our academy in February 2021. He had some potential after Youth Intake Day but after a few weeks reports by our coaches and scouts was not really impressive. In this season I played with 3-4-2-1 formation with three central defenders. After a promotion to the Premier League i changed the formation to 4-4-2 and needed wing back.
I didn’t have enough money to buy someone to this position so I decided he will be my first choice. Despite he was only sixteen years old. He was not suitable to his new position, he was not good enough but I had confidence in him.
He is not a fast player which we need to this position. He has not a good „Crossing“ attribute but I wanted to play him regularly and developed him as a wing back.
It was a good choice. I gave him a long term contract – for five years. In last four seasons he played 125 league matches and became one of the most favorite players for fans. He scored one goal and made 14 assists.
Gregor Smyth, June 2025.
Most improved attributes:
- Stamina +7
- Strenght +6
- Anticipation +6
- Concentration +5
- Positioning +4
- Marking +4
- Tackling +4
His value increased from zero to two million. After four seasons in Premier League he renewed contract until 2028. He is still my number one wing back. This “fairytale about random regen player” had a great sequel in the form of the first Scottish Senior Squad call-up. And Gregor made his debut against Slovenia in June 2025.
It’s sentimental, maybe, but this is why I really love Football Manager. I don’t want to buy Neymar for £100M and give him £400K per week. I like to play with these „Losers“ and „Benchwarmers“.