Transfers do not happen by mistake. For me, they are the effect of fastidious scouting, aided by a comprehensive collection of filters and shortlists.
This is a guide to filters and shortlists in Football Manager 2017. In this piece, I will talk through a crucial set of in-game tools at my disposal to help with one of the most significant tasks I have as manager; strengthening my squad through thoroughly scouted acquisitions.
I talk through how I use custom views, filters, and shortlists to ensure the time and resources I have available are only spent on areas of need. Reap the rewards of the initial effort invested up front for seasons to come with these hints and tips.
Creating custom views.
Before I even setup my filters and shortlists, I setup my custom view for the Scouting page. This isn’t a prerequisite for you, however, I like to have information presented to me on the screen that is pertinent to my decision making, i.e., am I going to invest time scouting this player. My custom view looks like this.
To create a custom view, I will use the default ‘General Info’ view, and then right-click on the header bar > ‘Customise Current View…’, > select the following items.
Information, position, name, club, knowledge level, scout’s opinion of player’s potential ability, scout’s opinion of player’s current ability, scout recommendation, determination, contract expiry date, height, weight, age, minimum fee release clause, scout’s opinion of player’s minimum asking price, scouts opinion of player’s minimum wage demand, asking price, value.
Quick Tip: You can easily rearrange the order in which the columns appear by going to ‘Customise Current View’ > select a header from the right-hand table > use the ‘Move Up’ and ‘Move Down’ arrows.
You can change the sort order by any of the columns by selecting the column name, e.g., if you want a quick view of who has the highest determination, select the determination header and the table will sort by highest to the lowest determination (select it again to sort lowest to highest).
Once I have my view in place, I set about creating custom filters.
Creating custom filters.
When you first open the Scouting page you will be presented with all known players in your scouting network. Those who you have scouted before will have a star rating. This list can run into the thousands. The key task for me is to filter that list down to a select few who become players of interest and potential signings.
My filters are not too comprehensive, however, I’m quite rigid when it comes to mining for specific attributes since I am meticulous when I need first team player’s to perform a specific role within the team.
I have filters for each of the player roles I use, along with some other more generic ones, e.g., under 21 players with expiring contracts who possess good passing, decisions and first touch as I might take a gamble on these players with a view to moulding them into potential backup midfielders.
To create a filter select ‘Quick Search’ (the word, not the drop down next to it) from the ‘Conditions’ heading, and like you would do when creating a scouting assignment, select your parameters for the player you want to find.
In this example, I will create a filter for a Ball Winning Midfielder, as this is a key role for me within my system. From the player search pop-up, you can choose your parameters so I will select ‘first team player’ > ‘midfield centre’ > ‘Ball Winning Midfielder’. After selecting ‘Next’, I am then able to further parameterise my search.
From the next screen, I will ‘Specify Attribute Values’ from the bottom right of the pop-up to select the key attributes needed to perform this role: tackling, aggression, bravery, determination, teamwork, work rate, stamina, and strength.
The screen will highlight all desirable attributes for this role, however, it doesn’t differentiate between key and preferable attributes. To view this you’ll need to view a players attributes and look for ones highlighted in blue (with grey being preferable).
I will set the current and potential ability as required for the stature of my club.
Once I select ‘Ok’, I am then presented with a list of filtered Ball Winning Midfielders who match my search criteria. Select ‘Filter Options’ from the top right, ‘Save Current Filter’ as Ball Winning Midfielder.
Once this is setup, you can use it as much as required by selecting it from the ‘Filter Options’ list. However, bear in mind that these players will not be 100% scouted yet, so their attributes will be within a certain range that match your criteria, e.g., 13-16.
So now we need to go ahead and scout the players.
I give each of my scouts a nickname to ensure I know their speciality when using them to provide scout reports. I simply add (JPP) or (JPA) at the end of their name. This allows me to quickly view whether they specialise in judging a players ability or potential
When I am ready to scout the players, with the returned list of filtered players in front of me, I will select all the players, right click > ‘Scouting’ > ‘Assign Scout’ > choose a specific scout good at judging player ability > ‘Don’t watch. Report Card Only’
Quick Tip: To select multiple players to scout at once, select a blank area by the name of the top player, hold shift, and then select a blank area by the name of the bottom player. All inclusive players should now be selected. A green tick next to their name will highlight this.
The scout report will be a very high-level report but it will give you an indication of whether it is worth getting a detailed scout report at a later date. For example, the initial scout report might highlight that a player is an injury prone, in which case I won’t proceed with my interest.
Where the initial report comes back positive, I will then ask that the scout spend time watching him until full knowledge is attained. Right click > ‘Scouting’ > ‘Assign Scout’ > select a scout with ‘JPP’ nickname > ‘Until Full Knowledge’.
Once full knowledge is attained, I will then check over their attributes to ensure those that were within a range are on the better side of my minimum permissible value. You may need to scout them more than once to attain 100% knowledge.
Once a scout report comes back favourably, I will add them to a shortlist to ensure I can keep track of their progress and to allow me to make a bid at a more appropriate time, e.g., when they have a year left on their contract.
Creating custom shortlists.
Once I have a player I would like to keep an eye on, I will add him to a custom shortlist. To create a shortlist simply select ‘Player Shortlist’ > ‘Shortlists’ > ‘New Shortlist…’ and give it a name. For example, I could create a shortlist called Ball Winning Midfielders. When I want to add a player to it I simply Right Click on the player > ‘Add to Shortlist’ > pick the relevant shortlist to use.
Another benefit to using shortlists is that you will get a notification on their key activity, e.g., when another club makes a bid for them, or when their contract is due for expiry.
So that is it. Quite simple but very effective.
If you have any questions I’m happy for you to fire them my way and I will do my best to answer them.