Previous versions of football manager had a straight forward tutoring system that could easily be exploited so that after a few seasons, your team could be composed of elite wonderkids with the perfectionist and model citizens personalities sprinkled all over. The new mentoring system introduced in FM19, and has carried over to FM22, makes the process less overpowered and realistic, creating an organic growth that is more in line with the real world.
The mentoring system consists of putting players in groups where they will learn off each other. This means that the players need to be in the same squad. Therefore, if you want to mentor a 16-year-old wonderkid, you will have to promote him to the first team, then make him available for U18 matches. The wonderkid will get the benefits of being mentored, while on the other hand, he will be working with first team coaches whose “working with youth” rating are normally low.
It is a tradeoff that you will have to weigh and pick the right choice depending on the circumstance. If the 16-year-old’s personality is terrible, yet he is showing some promise, I will definitely promote him so that the personality can be improved. However, if his personality is right in the middle, not the best but could do with improving, I would first let him be trained by the youth coaches until he turns 18, before promoting him to the first team and putting him in a mentoring group.
How Mentoring Groups Work In FM22
Previous versions of football manager only made calculations based on the two players, the tutor and the youth player. Currently, the game takes into consideration all the players in the mentoring group based on the following factors;
- The age of the player you want to be mentored
- The number of first team appearances that player has made
- Difference in the club hierarchy between the tutor and the players being mentored.
- The social group standing between the two players. It determines how likely they are to get along.
It is worth noting that the new mentoring system does not have an age limit, however, the older the player is, the harder it will be for him to change his ways or pick new skills, which makes total sense as you can not teach an old dog new tricks.
The more conditions you fulfil in the above list, the higher the chances of your mentoring group working successfully, and the player being mentored will shift his personality gradually to match that of his mentor.
How To Structure Mentoring Groups In Football Manager
There are a lot of different opinions online on how best to structure a mentoring group, however, I personally prefer to have them in small groups of 3 or 4 players. Having several groups consisting of a few players gives you the opportunity to look closely into what the potential personality changes might be, and also what player traits (PPMs) might be learned from the group members.
As much as your young striker with a poor mentality might benefit from being mentored by your model citizen libero. The risk of the striker picking the player trait “looks for pass rather than attempting to score” makes that a bad pairing. Having a striker whose first instinct is not to score goals is not something I can put up with.
In the same vein, if you have a winger that you want hugging the touchline to deliver crosses into the box, do not put him in the same mentoring group with an inverted winger tutor who prefers cutting inwards with the ball.
This does not mean that you can not have a mentor tutor players who are not playing in the same position as him. Instead, first check whether the player traits that he has might complement the young player. A wingback who has “tries killer balls often” trait will mentor a young attacking midfielder just fine.
To make small mentoring groups work, you must first create a first team squad consisting of players with good determination and personality types to head the groups.
If you are mentoring a player with the aim of him picking one or two player traits from the mentor, do not put them in the same group if the younger player has a better personality, his personality will shift downwards to match that of the mentor. If you do not have model citizens or perfectionists in your first team, do not mentor younger players having these mentalities, as they are the best of the best.
The Best Personalities In Football Manager
When planning your mentoring groups, these are the best personalities that your mentors should ideally have;
- Model Citizen – the gold standard
- Model Professional
- Fairly Professional
- Very Ambitious
Apart from the model citizen who is virtually perfect, all the other football manager personalities have some drawbacks in terms of their hidden attributes, but the ones mentioned above have vastly more desirable ones that will push your youngsters to be the best that they can be.
Other Factors That Come In Play During Mentoring
When you have signed a new player, you will be provided with the option of choosing an existing team member to welcome the new signing to the club. This welcoming period will make the new signing receive a short term one on one mentoring that he might come off better for it, if you picked a team leader with a good personality to handle his integration into the club.
Also, the personality of players can still be influenced by the average team personality, and the personality of others in their social group. If you have sent your wonderkid on loan to a club that has stronger personalities than he currently has, he will then gravitate towards having a better personality in order to fit in with his new teammates. This will also work the other way round if his new teammates have poor personalities, then his personality will also take a hit.
Despite making all the correct choices and putting players in mentoring groups that give them the best possible chance to become better, it will still take a considerable time since the changes do not take place overnight, even then, it is not a guarantee that things will work out.