#FM17 | Reading FC | part XV | Massive staff boost

Same as players and club itself develop during the save you always have to be careful of what staff you have beside you. As I write in the last part I decided to stick with many players from the start of the save. They were the reason why I started it. And some of the coaches from the start of the save is also still with us. 

Despite we won the Premier League in the fifth season and we were in the Europa League Final in the same season and our finances was absolutely great we stagnated a little in staff area.

header image royals save

The board declined all my requests to increase the number of coaches for the first team but also for reserve and youth team. They declined it despite I wanted to increase number of coaches for youth team in terms of club philosophy “Develop Players Using Club’s Youth System.”

Come and join the conversation in Slack. Do you want to know what #FMSlack is? Read here.

They were strict and not open to all proposals. Until now. After the win in the Champions League I have option to increase numbers of coaches. Massively.

This is the first team staff screen in March 2023 just a couple of weeks before the CL Final.

  • 1 Assistant Manager
  • 3 General Coaches
  • 2 Fitness Coaches
  • 2 Goalkeeping Coaches
  • 1 Head of Youth Development
  • 3 Physios (8 Medical Staff in overall)
  • 18 members of Scouting Staff but this post is mainly about coaching staf…

You can see the ranking of our coaches around the Premier League is very good.


In terms of our other teams – Under 23 squad had Manager, Assistant Manager and one general coach. Under 18 squad had Manager, Assistant Manager, Goalkeeping Coach and three other coaches.

Back to 2016…

…when I took a charge of this club I signed Phil Cannon as our Head of Youth Development and he remained in the club until the end of the 2022/2023 season when he decided to retire from football.

This is his profile in 2016 and just before the end of his career.

It was somehow symbolic when he retired and I found out all the changes and options to boost our staff.

What changed?

  • First team coaches – current 7, advised 13
  • First team Sports Scientist – current 2, advised 3
  • Under 23s Coaching Staff – current 2, advised 7
  • Under 23s Physio – current 1, advised 3
  • Under 18s Coaching Staff – current 4, advised 9
  • Under 18s Sports Scientist – current 1, advised 2
  • Data Analyst – current 1, advised 2
  • Under 18s Data Analyst – current 1, advised 2

If I’m right there is 22 available jobs in our staff. Some staff members left our club during the previous years as they got job as Managers or Assistant Managers in other clubs.

For example Carl Barker became a Manager of Doncaster just after the one season as our Under 23s coach. Andy Frampton became a Manager of Crewe also after just only one season with our U18s.

There was also Peter Crouch as my Assistant and he went for the same role to Manchester City or Justin Walker who became Assistant Manager of Chelsea after his work with our U23s.

Ex-Reading player Steve Sidwell was the Assistant Manager of our Under 18s for six months before he was appointed Fulham manager.

But no more about the past. Let’s take a look on the new faces as I have great option to improve the staff part of our club.

I knew what I need to reduce coaches workload as I promoted about eight youngsters to the first team before the next season and the group of players was bigger. I needed at least one fitness coach and one coach for tactics, ball controll, defending and shooting. That means five coaches and I have seven spare places for my first team.

As I mentioned it in Deep Lying Podcast recently I always look at coach personality. I always want coaches with Determined or Professional personality because the personality of your coaches and your Head of Youth Development has influence on your Youth Intake and personality of your regens.

I also look at Determination and Adaptability attributes. One example.

I wanted a new coach for some area I mentioned above. I set the key attributes for the specific role and also added the type of personality. I use the “+/-” to search coaches (for players as well) to find the coach with that type of personality.

It’s very common that there are no coaches with specific attributes and personality if I tick “Realistic Appointment – First Team/Reserves/Youth Team” so I have to search longer.


Specific attributes are important for the training ranking of course but as I said I always look mainly on the personalities of my coaches.

This process during this time between two seasons in my Reading save resulted in new coaches for every coaching area I wanted and all of the new coaches have Determined or Professional personality.

The same process I made with new coaches for our U23s and U18s teams. There are some of them.

As I wrote above my Head of Youth Development Phil Cannon retired so I wanted to find the best possible new HoYD for our club. After some research I selected Kristjaan Speakman who was coach, HoYD and caretaker manager of Birmingham City. He has Professional personality.

His key attributes for this role are: Working With Youngsters – 20, Judging Player Ability – 20, Judging Player Potential – 17.


What changed in terms of the coaching teams comparison around the nation and leagues in which our teams participate?

We now have best coaches in the Premier League and in the English Under 18s Group 1 and almost the best coaches in the English Under 23s Group 1. Only Chelsea is better in terms of Man Management here.

You can see in the screens there are still some coaches with Balanced personality and I will replaced them probably when their contracts will expire.

There is also still room for one more scout in our club. There some scouts for many years and they are older and older as save continue so they will probably retire in some time and I will also replace them with new one. After the seventh season we have 51% of world knowledge.

We have a minimal knowledge in regions like Middle East, South Asia, East Africa or sporadic knowledge of East Asia, Southest Asia or Central Africa. But I think it’s not my priority in this save in England.

Thank you for your attention and reading the another post about my Reading save. Do you want to talk about it more? Come and join the conversation in Slack.


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