Football Manager 2019 Training Module – How It Functions

The Football Manager 2019 training module was one of the biggest new additions to this years game. It’s a change that fans have been crying out for, for a very long time. I personally think it’s one of the best changes ever in the game. The new Football Manager 2019 training module is a more complex version of training than people will be used to seeing. If you’ve been playing an older version of the game then the new module can seem confusing because it doesn’t work like any other versions. So for Football Manager 2019 we need to relearn how training works. The first biggest mistake you might make with the new training module, is comparing it to past games. No matter how well/badly you thought you knew how the old system works, forget it all and see Football Manager 2019 with fresh eyes, or you’ll struggle.

I’ve criticised Sports Interactive a lot in the past for not caring about things and being vague with features of the games. But this year they get nothing but credit from me, for the game they’ve created and more importantly, for how they’ve been engaging the community in general. I want to give a massive shout out to Miles, Marc Duffy and Seb Wassell for how they’ve been more freely giving information out to the content creators this year.

Seb Wassell in particular for me, deserves so much credit for the training module and helping people transition from the old module to the new one. Myself, Daljit (Rashidi/BustTheNet) and Herne79 have been in contact with Seb a lot in recent weeks in order to create this training guide. Seb has been great at answering our questions and giving us information that would have been hard to ever be sure of, without his input. He’s answered every question honestly and spend hours explaining how the new training module works.

Without the dialogue and direct contact with Seb this wouldn’t be possible. He's been a fantastic reference. Seb shares the same passion as us and wants the user to be able to understand how training now works. Especially as on face value, it looks extremely complicated and it is (but isn’t as daunting once you get an understanding of how it functions), but hopefully this guide will go a very long way to answering all your training queries. And if you still have some questions afterwards, myself, Rashidi and Herne79 are more than capable of answering them.

Before we dive into the article though, it’s worth noting that the new training module is much more realistic than previous versions. This means it isn’t about finding any magic numbers when it comes to player development and things will seem much ‘slower’ in regards to development compared to previously. It should be more rare now that you see young players with maxed out ability at very young ages. The same with personality gains, these are now slower too. This will likely be a huge change for most that will take some time to adapt to.

Index

PART 1

Mentoring

  • How does it work

Training

  • New Training Elements
  • Sessions, Match Rules, Travel Rules, Away Matches
  • Impacts
  • Training Units
  • Training Strategies – Balanced and Role Based
  • Training Rating
  • Individual Focus Training
  • Squad Training
  • Training Impact

PART 2

  • Creating Interesting Training Programs
  • Coaches and Training
  • Coaching Categories and Attributes
  • Assistant Manager
  • How to Achieve Tactical Familiarity
  • Miscellaneous

PART 1

With the introduction of Football Manager 19, we see some big changes in terms of how training and mentoring (formerly tutoring) now work. Football Manager 19 has taken a step towards realism in how both these modules work inside the game but at the same time, have took us away from the intricacies of previous version of the game. What I mean by that is, we don’t really need to know the inner workings any longer and we can focus on the game aspects above all else. On older versions of the game, it felt more like adding numbers together to find the perfect formula and once you hit that magic number, you couldn’t really fail.

That’s all changed now though. So now we will take a look at the two modules and discuss the changes and what this means for all of us playing Football Manager 2019.

Mentoring

Mentoring replaces tutoring as we knew it on older versions of the game. It’s similar in terms of what it does overall but also very different with how it works. Many of us all knew that while personality was only supposed to be part of the overall equation for a player reaching his potential, once you had a good personality type it was easy to get the player to his maximum potential. Normally this could be done by just playing regular. Whether you admit it or not, it wasn’t a realistic way and was almost an exploitative way of playing the game. It used to be the first thing I did on all saves, give players the best personality type I could find and then with-in a few short years they’d be at full potential.

It all felt too easy as we was beating the system and we’d have many players with awesome attributes for their age. While we should have players with good attributes at younger ages, it shouldn’t be as frequent as it was. So mentoring is what we have now and presents a more realistic approach while more closely follows how it works in real life. Many of you had wanted these changes for many years and now we have them.

We have to forget about how it might work under the hood as SI have moved it into a direction where we should think about it in a more realistic way. Which is fair enough and the correct approach to take. With this in mind, it’s highly unlikely we will ever know the proper calculations used any longer so don’t expect to see any specific numbers thrown around. And if you do see anything talking about percentages or exact inner workings, know that it’ll be false. Only SI know this stuff now.

So How Does It Work?

While the old tutoring system was more focused on a fixed set of rules, the new mentoring options are more organic and realistic. This is reflected in game with suggestions via hints and tips. The game gives you much better feedback as to what affects personality adjustments and displays it to the user in a clear manner.

Players need to be training together to mentor one another, as well as spending time together off the training pitch. This means the players need to be in the same squad. You can no longer have a first team player, mentor an U18 player unless they are in the same squad. So you’d either have to demote the senior player or promote the younger player in order to create a unit they both can participate in.

When trying to influence the players the game looks at the following things;

  • Age of the potential influenced player
  • Career first team appearances of the potential influenced player
  • Difference in the club hierarchy between the two players
  • Social group standing between the two players (i.e how compatible they are)

There isn't a specific age limit on mentoring. Age works in the same way as the other factors, they will impact how likely the player is to be influenced at that time.

If a player fills the criteria above, the more likely the influenced player is to have their personality skewed towards that of the mentoring player. If the player who is being mentored doesn’t fulfill any of the criteria at all, then there's no chance of a personality adjustment occurring. If there is a chance of a personality adjustment occurring then this chance is further boosted if they're in the same mentoring group and training unit.

Players can still be influenced by the team personality and by the personality of others in their social groups, just like on Football Manager 2018. You should take a look at the social groups and see which players are in the groups as you could find them being influenced positively or negatively by different personalities. It's unlikely your captain is going to be dragged down by other players at the club, but it's not impossible if the combination of scoring factors suggested the captain should be influenced by others.

Also new in Football Manager 2019 is the 'Welcome to club' function also now serves as a way of setting a piece of short term one-on-one mentoring between a new signing and an established player.

Players can still pass player traits (PPM’s) on as well, if the individual shares a similar position to those in the mentoring unit.

Mentoring is slower than the previous tutoring system. You should not expect to see an unprofessional player become professional overnight, or even over the course of a few short months.

Training

The new training module looks complicated but it’s easy to understand once you get used to how it now functions. Training now influences how well your team plays with your tactic. Training programs can influence players tactical familiarity with tactical systems and provide certain boosts for upcoming matches; your primary tactic will define the tactical identity of the club which in turn helps to determine the type of training to plan.

So if you were to adopt a tactical style that is “Tiki Taka” while nothing will stop you from adopting a balanced approach to training, a more focused one that works on attributes that help execute your Tiki Taka style may give you higher dividends. Naturally the latter is more time consuming and takes a fair bit of planning.

FM19 provides managers with a more organic approach to training where they decide the focus of training during the course of a week.

Note - Semi-pro and Amateur teams have a reduced schedule to reflect the fact that they have considerably less time for training than professional teams. Youth have their own bespoke schedules but can be trained in the same way as any professional senior team if desired.

New Training Elements

Each day is divided into 3 training times. Session 1, Session 2, and Extra Session. And there are 7 days in a week, which give you a maximum of 21 training sessions. As a manager you are free to leave training in the hands of your assistant manager, or you can create a specific one for your team. These are some of the constraints you will work under should you opt to take the latter route:

Sessions

  • Each session has a maximum number of times it can be applied to a single week of training.
  • This maximum for most sessions is 7. The exceptions to this are: Match Practice, Recovery, Match Preview, Match Review, Rest, Penalty Taking, Community Outreach, Team Bonding.
  • Match Review requires a Data Analyst. Recovery requires a Physio, Sports Scientist or Doctor.
  • Match Preview and Match Review can only be selected on days adjacent to a match.
  • Every session is made up of "Impacts". These are: Attributes, Tactical Familiarities and Match Effect ("Upcoming Match"). Extra-Curricular also impacts fan confidence and morale.

Match Rules

  • All matches fill the Session 2 slot, no matter the time of day. Realistically the entire day is given over to the match.
  • When creating your own Schedule, only S2 can contain a Match.
  • Every default match day, that being those included in the templates or when initially added to a custom schedule, has the following sessions around it:

  • Everything but the S1 and ES Rest (or Travel) sessions are editable, but I would not recommend losing Recovery or Match Preview - this contains the Pre-Match Tactical Briefing.
  • S1 the day before has no rule, it varies based on template.
  • If the match is away from home, these Rest sessions may become Travel. See Travel Rules for more.

Travel Rules

  • Travel will occur if the match is away from home and the distance between the stadiums is more than 15 miles.
  • There are two types of travel, Short and Long.
  • Short means travel during S1 and ES either side of the match on match day.
  • Long means travel during S2 the day before the match and S1 the day after the match.
  • When travel occurs in a slot that previously had something other than Rest - which should only occur in pre-season or custom schedules as all other templates are built to accommodate - the session will be replaced.

Moved Matches

  • By default, all template schedules have a 0, 1 and 2 match version. These are obviously applied as appropriate. Match Practice also occurs on these days when applicable.
  • By default the match days in all template schedules are Saturday (1) and Tuesday (2).
  • If a match occurs on a day outside of these, or is moved, the following occurs:
  • Match day and all required surrounding sessions, see Match Rules, are moved to appropriate  day.
  • The day that was previously here is shifted along in the week.
  • The subsequent days are also shifted, filling the previous match day and making room for the new match day whilst maintaining the style of the schedule.
  • If there are three or more matches in a week we use a special Fixture Congestion schedule.

Impacts

There is an overall training load that is the cumulative effect of the physical activities of a player during a specific period of time.  Throughout the training process you are trying to balance overall training load, with individual focus, match appearances and training intensity. Your medical team will warn you if you are pushing a player too far, and you will be informed of his training levels.

You can increase the intensity of training by either adjusting the programs and adding more intensive ones so that the daily training intensity breaches 100%. When this happens for example you will see the risk to injury, fatigue and condition go up.

Please bear in mind that while it's good to have 3 tactics or more, adding more secondary tactics means that your team may take longer to achieve full tactical familiarity with all systems.

TRAINING UNITS

A squad is divided into 3 units for training purposes. These are Attacking Unit and Defensive Unit, collectively known as Outfield, and Goalkeeping Unit. When Set Pieces are trained the set piece takers, as set in tactics, form their own temporary unit.

As a manager you will decide who will belong to which unit for training development purposes. Where a training program specifically targets attribute development for one unit only, then the other could spend time training working on developing attributes that focus on their specific roles. The unit which is the primary focus of a session will see the biggest impact.

For example: In the Ground Defence session, the defensive unit focuses on working and developing their attributes, whilst the attacking and goal keeping units focus on developing their individual roles. In this example, the defensive unit’s development is focused on a specific set of attributes whilst the impact on the rest of the players is less and focused on developing attributes for their roles. In the Attacking Wings session the Attacking unit attacks the Defensive unit. The Attacking unit is the focus of the session so receives the largest portion of attention from coaches.

It is important to understand how Units are set up when you want to develop your own training schedule as this could impact development.

Here there are several strategies one can use once you understand how you can divide your squad into Units. I will give two examples of how you could approach training based on what you are wanting to achieve;

Balanced Strategy:

You opt not to assign specific roles, instead leaving them on a generic role like a central midfielder for example. When you divide the team up you do not assign specific roles instead letting the game assign attribute development based on the roles the players have been using in their games.

While this can work, its general and does not really create a tactical identity for the club in our (Rashidi/Cleon/Herne) opinion. If you believe this can create the tactical identity you want, then there is nothing stopping you from taking this approach.

Role Based Strategy

Here you go through each player and set their roles up with a goal of seeing them become better within an overall tactical framework. This approach also includes specific focuses to strengthen weak areas of a players game.

Here you are creating a specific identity of a team, however the tactical identity of the team can be refined further if you understand the styles you are trying to achieve. This is where the linkage between tactics and training kicks in.

There are various training strategies you can employ and the game comes preloaded with a set of tactics styles to help you get started. Assuming you wanted to adopt a Tiki Taka tactical style, when you go to schedules and want to create a training schedule specific for that style of play, there are already presets that focus on attribute development along that line.

More advanced users can easily adapt these styles to their own needs or create tactical style from scratch and then develop training strategies specifically geared for them. This is a powerful specialisation approach. However to pull it off well, one needs to understand the conditions you work under.

TRAINING RATING

To keep track of a players training performance, each player is assigned a rating between 1-10. This rating takes their performances over a 7 day period. Generally any value higher than 6.5 is considered acceptable. We believe the ideal values are between 7-10, although you can decide yourself what is an acceptable value and what isn’t for you.

Training Rating is made up of a few things, including attribute development and morale. Whilst it does not directly affect match performance, a player that is developing well and has high morale, thus a higher training rating, will likely also perform well in match (relative to their ability of course).

INDIVIDUAL FOCUS TRAINING

Each player can be assigned a position/role/duty to be trained in and this will determine which attributes are developed, you can also assign extra individual training and control the intensity a player should train at. This is called Additional Focus Training.

The Training Intensity Level of the whole team can be set under the Rest tab for training. Here you can automate the intensity based on the physical condition of players.

When a player has an individual training workload of Medium, he can usually do additional focus training, player trait development or have his training intensity increased. More professional = more likely to get on well with extra training.

There are many parts to training now, but the attribute part aids development in those specific areas. More time spent on one attribute = more chance of development.

There are generally four types of training programs that focus development over various areas. Some training programs improve a player’s tactical familiarity and attributes. Others may focus specifically on certain attributes. Finally there are also programs that do not improve either one of those but focus on improving the conditioning of players related to factors like Match Sharpness, fatigue, etc.

If you find the need to improve a player in a specific area like heading for example, and this is not covered under an individual focus then you may need to tailor a schedule that includes various components that include heading as an attribute improvement. In previous editions of FM, being able to do that specifically was unrealistic. In FM19, you need to set up units/team training that incorporates that so that you can get a player’s heading improved. One example of such a program is “Aerial Defence”.

SQUAD TRAINING

The four types of training can be broadly broken into: General Training, Unit Training, Condition Training and Specific Training.

GENERAL TRAINING- Programs that cover broad areas of development including but not limited to a broad range of attributes and tactical familiarity.

Example Programs: Overall, Outfield, Physical, Attacking, Defending, Tactical

UNIT TRAINING- Programs that split the squad into Units to work on various aspects of play, covers more specific attribute development that may include tactical familiarity.

Example Programs: Defensive Shape, Attacking Movement

SPECIFIC TRAINING - Programs that do not include tactical familiarity in their attribute development but the most specific attribute work.

Example Programs: Set Piece Penalties

CONDITION TRAINING - Programs that do not have attribute development as a focus, instead focusing on Injury Condition, Fatigue Condition, Sharpness Condition. Team Cohesion, Happiness.

Example Program : Recovery program affects Injury risk, condition, fatigue, sharpness, happiness and team cohesion

TRAINING IMPACT

When you choose any training program, you need to check how training will affect them. This is easily found by drilling down to any training program. Assuming we want to designate one session to Goalkeeper>Handling Training, different players will be impacted in different ways.

If we choose this program, the Goalkeeping unit will receive 60% of the benefit from this training in the attributes of Handling, Aerial reach, Concentration and Balance. The rest of the team split between the Attacking and Defensive Units will receive 40% (20%) per unit of the focus based on the roles that they have been assigned in training. Where a role is not specifically chosen then his playing position will be used.

Part 2

CREATING INTERESTING TRAINING PROGRAMS

The goal of any manager is to combine training programs that give the squad the best. Many of the tactical presets come with their own training programs. If you are keen to begin to make your own, understanding how they have been set up is a good way to start. Here are some insights on certain facets of training that one could easily overlook.

FM19 sees some big changes in training. For example when you go to the Training panel and click “Edit Coach Assignments” on the right, you will find that coaches now work differently.

Changes in training now offer managers more options for getting the squad ready. To give you a few examples. With focused training you could as a newly promoted side elect to focus on Set Piece Training. You can also choose to do different kinds of programs as match preparation for an upcoming game.

You can also choose to get specific players working on set piece delivery.

Another option is to focus on physical development. Here you can choose to get a side to focus on Physical training and you can also direct individual players to add additional focus training to Set Pieces or Attributes. As you can probably surmise, training can now be more organically set up so that you can develop your side the way you want them to play.

Here are a few recommendations for a specific style of football:

Physical-based Training - Can be used by a newly promoted side that wants to focus scoring goals from counter attacks and set pieces.

*NOTE We have purposely chosen an extreme case here with this intense schedule just to show what you could potentially do. Ideally you’d not use as many extra sessions as we created in the table. Depending on what the actual type and amount of sessions you use, this could make the schedule a lot more intense, so be wary of what the session's actually do. As this can change how light or intense a schedule can become.

This is a physically intense training session that focuses a team on developing physical attributes. It also incorporates programs that prepare a team to attack and defend corners as well as improve set piece delivery. The last two days are rest day. Sunday is a rest day, but technically Saturday would be the most intense day if it was a match. Would also be worth including a Match Preview session, unless you specifically want to exclude it. Remember Match Preview contains the pre-match briefing.

Each week’s training program creates a chance for changes to :

  • Injury Risk
  • Physical condition
  • Fatigue
  • Match Sharpness
  • Team Cohesion
  • Happiness
  • (Attributes)
  • Upcoming match boosts
  • Tactical Familiarity

One can set up training schedules for preseason, weeks where we are playing one match per week or weeks where we are playing two matches per week. We can also create unique plans for specific opponents. You could for example prepare for a cup final match by focusing squarely on set piece training in the last week before a final.

Training schedules work to prepare a side with attribute development, squad cohesion or even match preparation. Previous editions of FM had a separate match preparation slider. FM19 sees a more dynamic match preparation where we can specifically assign our team to work on targeted areas for games.

It’s worth noting that, all else being equal, the training schedules themselves dictate how a player progresses not if a player progresses.

COACHES AND TRAINING

Coaches can be assigned to different training categories. The key thing to note here is that the quality of training is affected by the attributes of the coach and workload. If the coaches workload is too heavy, the quality drops. If his attributes are low then the quality he offers is low. The difference between 4* and 5* is actually quite minimal, but it will give you that marginal gain that could make the difference.

What you want to be doing is balancing their workloads and ensuring you pick the right coaches with the right star ratings. Most categories have a primary and a secondary attribute that we need to meet in order for them to have high star ratings. These can change from time to time, so what you want to be doing is looking out for coaches that fulfil either Technical, Mental or Tactical in the secondary attributes. For example if I wanted a coach to handle ball control I would look for Technical and Mental as attributes.

A significant change to goalkeeper training has been made in FM18 which could affect the way your sweeper keepers play and this is caused by the inclusion of a new training attribute for coaches -  GK Distribution. Basically this calls for coaches to work with keepers so that they can distribute the ball more effectively. Keepers who have good vision are going to benefit and they may also start attacking moves from their distribution of the ball.

When you look at the coaching attributes and you co-relate them to the training schedules, you will realise that certain coaches work on improving specific attributes within their specialisation. So it’s always a good idea to find the right coaches for specific training goals that you are aiming to achieve. For example if you wanted to focus on developing first touch in your team as a priority, then you need to find the training sessions that cover that and you also need to employ the right Possession/Technical coach for the job.

The quality of training is also affected by your facilities. You need to continually develop your facilities over time to give your players the best kind of training possible. And don't forget the cost of this increase over time. The more you improve them, the higher the cost of running the training facility becomes. You should also look to hire coaches who fit your style of play, however to be honest, this is the lowest on my priority list.

Assistant Manager

A hands-on manager is able to tailor training precisely to their squad and philosophy. If you want to control training then you’d stay in-control of it yourself. But if you want to hand the training responsibilities over to the assistant manager, then they’re more than of using well balanced schedules.

The assistant selects schedules based on:

  • His attributes, preferences and tendencies - for example, Hardness of Training, Attacking, Tactical, etc.
  • Time of season
  • Type of club
  • Players
  • Tactics

If you are giving control of training to the assistant manager, then it’s worth while hiring an assistant manager who reflects your beliefs and style. That way, he will be more likely to select schedules that suit your overall philosophy, compared to an assistant manager who has a contrasting style to your own.

ACHIEVING TACTICAL FAMILIARITY

The term tactical familiarity refers to how well your squad understands the requirements of the tactical system you are playing with. The better a team understands the tactical system, the better it performs. Achieving familiarity is easy if you understand what this entails. Tactical Familiarity is done on an individual player basis. Team Cohesion governs how the team then comes together.

To become familiar with a tactic players in a team need to develop an understanding of:

Mentality, Passing, Tempo, Width, Creative Freedom, Pressing Intensity, Marking and Position/Role/Duty. You can check this information out by visiting any players Training page found under Training>Development. How familiar a player is with the teams tactical style is indicated there.

This page will indicate amongst other things:

  • Position/Role/Duty a player is training for
  • Additional Focus
  • Intensity Level
  • Coaches Training report
  • Medical Report
  • Tactical Familiarity

How do you improve tactical familiarity?

Adopting training programs that incorporate tactical familiarity elements. These programs are usually the General, Match Preparation, Attacking, Defending, Tactical and Goalkeeping programs.

  • Whenever you use a new tactical system, you can incorporate these training programs within a schedule of programs to ensure that your players achieve tactical familiarity.
  • Players also need to play the position in an actual game to see the results.

Whenever you use a new tactical system, the amount of familiarity the team needs to gain will depend on how much the new system deviates from the old one. For example if you are using a 532 and change to a 5122, then the deviation is mild and the side may only need to play the new system a few times to become accustomed to it. However if its a radically different system, you may need to incorporate training programs that include tactical familiarity elements so that a side gets used to it.

How quickly a side becomes familiar with a tactic depends on the number of systems being learned, the kind of training sessions being used and whether you are able to get as many players used to it in time. Matches are also essential to tactical familiarity gain. The recommended number for pre-season is 6, assuming you start with ‘early’ pre-season.

A side can become fluent in tactical systems as quickly as 4-6 weeks under the right circumstances, though this would be unrealistic, as you would only be training one tactic and using the same 11 players for 4-6 weeks.

Miscellaneous

One thing you could struggle with throughout your save is fatigue is you aren’t using a Sports Scientist. The reason for this is that a Sports Scientist helps with fatigue throughout the week’s training schedules. If you don’t employ one, then players with fatigue problems might be a common occurrence. So be sure to keep an eye on this, if you are suffering from fatigue.

If you'd like to see this guide in video form then check out this videos by Bust The Net, it's around 17 minutes long;

Another huge thank you to Seb who was a great reference and to Bust The Net and Herne79 for collaborating for this guide.

11 thoughts on “Football Manager 2019 Training Module – How It Functions”

    1. Thanks Chris. It’s a learning curve for all, especially seeing slow development from players. People are already saying it’s broken because they’re only seeing small improvements over a small sample size.

      You still see big changes on FM19 but it’s rare you’ll see 21 year olds fully developed now, it’ll take a while longer. Which is great imo.

  1. Great article and really helpful, really enjoying what they have done with FM this year.

    So regarding attributes development in FM 18 you should approx. run tactical/attacking etc. for 3 months to see a positive outcome, and then shift to another 3 month block, where shifting between balanced/tactical/attacking every 2-3 weeks would not be beneficial. How does FM19 training differ from that when we are setting up our schedules?

    1. In FM18 if you are cycling through 2 or 3 different options it’s pointless and you may aswell stay on balanced.

      As for FM19, nothing works like it did on FM18. So as I state at the start of the article, ignore everything about past editions as it has no weight or influence on the FM9 module. The 19 module works different. I explain how in the article.

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