|Thoughts of a lower league managerSee all entries in this blog|
End of Season - make the most of it! (04/06/2012 02:13)
It's that time again that comes around every 4 weeks, the end of season, or off season. There's the bizarre weekend wait between rounds 29 and 30, the last of the regular season that just prolongs the agony if you're in a promotion or relegation battle. This is followed by the play-offs and cup finals of rounds 31-35, then the season switchover occurs, on the Wednesday evening IIRC.
It's important to make sure you make the most of this time, as it's a window of opportunity that normally closes once the next season's started. So here are a few tips of how to make the most of it...
1. End of Season clearout. Like most managers at the end of the season, you're probably assessing the season just finished and deciding on who's surplus to requirements and which areas you need to strengthen up on. So, obviously, you know which players you want to get rid of, but don't be too hasty to sack them just yet! Even players that have been on the Transfer List all season without a sniff from another team, can suddenly become desirable in the off-season. That's because everyone's looking at bolstering their squads and your surplus players might just be what another manager is looking for, especially if they can get them on the cheap!
List your unwanted players and set the Auto-Accept level to $1 above the minimum bid value. This lets other managers know that you're not going to start haggling over the price. You might only get one bidder for your player(s) but you would then get more money for them than if you'd just sacked them outright. And if they don't sell, then just sack them anyhow and you've not really lost anything.
2. Extra training. Your team will lose to squad levels at season switch-over, so try to get as much squad training in as possible before then. Don't bother with Morale as that gets reset back to 50 at the start of the new season. When the new season starts, try and get your morale us high as possible in the first few weeks.
You can also do extra training camps and friendlies, Player Cups, etc. If you're out of the cups and not involved in the play-offs, then you can let the players' fitness levels get quite low in the off-season as they'll be replenished at season switch-over.
3. Pick your Cup strategy, Unless you're in Div 1 or Div 2, then chances are, your team will usually get knocked out of the League Cup fairly early on and your chances of having a long cup run or even winning it are pretty slim. The League Cup fixture schedule is tight and relentless, with each round coming every couple of League rounds. I've found that having a 3 or 4 round League Cup run can tire out and injure your players, which has a detrimental effect on the League campaign. So best to put out a weakened side for the League Cup, to allow your first team squad to rest for their assault on the League.
If you're in Div 5 or below, then you don't enter the League Cup, but have a smaller Department Cup competition which only contains teams from your Div and Dept. The rounds are quite far apart and it can be quite a big money-earner if you progress far and/or win it, so you might want to put out a full-strength team for this.
4. Sell or Keep your 17 yr old? As happens every season, a 17 yr-old player graduates from your academy. This player might be your star striker in a few seasons' time or he could be permanently warming the bench for several seasons, until you decide to sack him for a pittance of his original value. You need to make a decision straight away as 17 yr-old players are worth a lot at this time, but the market is also flooded with 17 yr-old talent.
Scout him 2 or 3 times, just to get an idea of his potential. If you get 3 x 5-star reports, then keep him. Otherwise, it might be worth cashing in on him and hoping for a better graduate next season.
There are lots of other tutorials and guides out there, which you should try and hunt down and read. Most will tell you to buy a promising 17 yr-old (especially the unsigned ones that appear on or around Wed evening) and get them playing loads of friendlies. This probably does work, but you'll find that these players are ridiculously expensive to buy and might be way out of your budget.
That's all for now. Until next time....
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