Welcome everyone to the another part of my Football Manager 2017 save with Reading FC. As you may know I won the six trophies during the eighth season includin Premier League or Champions League.
You can read all the previous parts of this save in this category on my blog so you can catch up with everything what happened so far.
IMPORTANT: This is not an article “how to do it” despite “how to” in the title.
As I wrote in this part I decided to stick with the team and to play with a lot of players from the original squad from the start of the save. Development of players like Danny Loader, Liam Kelly or Jake Cooper was very good so far and they are stars of the Premier League despite Kelly and Cooper were transfer listed at the start of the save for example.
I thought about this save a lot in recent weeks and I knew I have to decided what to do next. One option was to play 10th season and end the save to start the new one. But I declined this as I don’t want to end this save and I think I would not write about the other save in the same style. Maybe I would not write at all.
So I created the new way. Or maybe the “sub-way” of this save. If you know me you know I like to develop young players and play with a lot of players. As players from the original squad are older and older and they will retire in some time or they will want to leave the club for a new challenge in their careers I have to have a backup plan.
As this save continues the club facilities are better and better and it’s possible training and youth facilities will be on the highest level after the tenth season as another works started already.
So, what’s the plan?
Saves in England become harder due to a Brexit as many of you who play in England know. Despite it I decided to scout and try to find as much as possible quality young players from around the world. And doesn’t matter if they will gain work permit or not.
During the seventh season PEC Zwolle became our affiliate club. They are part of the Holland Eredivisie and they are mid-table club in this save. I added first and second division to the playable leagues in time to have players in Dutch clubs.
That was the first step. It’s not easy to convince board about this as you may think. And if they decline your request about the affiliate club you have to wait for some months when this option is available again.
I think I started to think about this “sub-project” when I discovered midfielder Alfredo Acuna and I bought him before the seventh season. He spent this season on loand with PSV, he added some international caps during the season and before the eighth season he got work permit and became one of key players in season in which we won six trophies.
First of many? Yes, he was like our first experiment of this. It works very good for both sides so why not to repeat it?
I think there are many guides and articles about scouting around the community and I will not write any post like “how to…” but some thoughts about my scouting in this save. In the first seasons I did not need too many scouts as I clearly did not want to sign almost no players.
My busiest time in this save always around the England Youth Intake when I opened the world transfers/youth intake screen and scouted all the players who came to English clubs. I make the same still but I also started to scout countries from the whole world because of my new plan of signing youngsters from all around the world.
I also use the Screen Flow where I added competitions like EURO U19s/U21s Championship Qualification stages and the main tournament as well and other tournaments for young teams like UEFA Youth Champions League or French Youth Invitational.
I set Players Stats Overview screen as a default when the specific competition is under way and I’m able to check players stats during the whole tournament and I can find interesting players. I spoke about it on Twitter with #TheWickers recently so you can check it.
And if you don’t want to read you can check the video by FoxInTheBoxFM about it.
As I wrote above I decided to buy a new players from around the world despite I it will be sure they will not get the work permit.
During the 9th season I signed four players. Ernst Klar (Austria, 18 years old), David Iribar (Spain, 23 years old), Adam Walker (Australia, 18 years old) and Vesa Lehto (Finland, 18 years old).
All of them went to PEC Zwole for six months loan. David Iribar was the key player during his loan spell with PEC and he could play for most of big clubs in Europe.
Because of his nationality and limited chances to play in the starting XI for Spain national team he will be “buy-develop-sell” player for us. He will be loaned out for another season and then I will decide if I will sell him to make some profit or I will renew his contract and wait for work permit for him.
Strikers Klar and Walker are different example as they play for their national teams so there is much bigger chance they will get work permit and they will become Reading FC players in the future.
There are also two options how to deal with loans. I can send this type of players to my affiliate clubs what means I will pay they wage or I can send them to other club and I can try to negotiate better financial terms for our club.
I also bought the 18 years old defender Christ Bidimbou from Ghana who will play for PEC Zwolle in the 2025/2026 season. He has two international caps so far so there is a chance he will play more for his nation in the future.
The latest news in terms of this is I convince board to find another affiliate club and I decided to select Caen from Ligue 1. I will sent at least one player there for the 10th season of this save and some others in the future too.
As I wrote above this is my new part-time plan to keep me interested in this save because I still love to search a new youngsters despite I play with the same squad in this save.
I’m sure for some of you this save would be boring much earlier because there are still the same players in the squad but I really enjoy to play with them and I hope they will stay in the club for many years or until the end of their careers.
This new plan is very simple – I will try to find the best suited young players around the world, I will develop them in our affiliate clubs or in other clubs and if they become good enought (and they will have a work permite), they will be prepared for the time when players from the original squad will retire or they will want to go elsewhere. Or I will be able to sell loaned players and make some profit.
Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie.