This is the latest in the series from guest author @grantsales
2015 Youth Intake.
Here we go. Here is where I do work. My favourite time of year. When I replaced Gilbey as my HOYD, I looked at personalities as I want players to come through with a professional attitude. Now, again, I have no idea if this works or that it helps, but ANYTHING to stop the CONSTANT demands for football/new contract etc etc. So Raymond Lepetre was classed as a Model Professional. Which would be perfect if I’m to build a decent squad! Right! To business! I have scouts on the bottom three clubs in Ligue 1, hoping that they have players that are disgruntled with the low position. My scouts only came back with one player that was worth looking at in the lower echelons. SC Bastia’s Alexandre Dainau. My jaw dropped. This guy was quick and talented. I had to have him. I ended up bidding £3m for him, using the 48 month payment option, because I’m sure that this guy is going to be special.
OK, first look at this intake is promising. As ever, some of us (ME!) forget that the star ratings aren’t necessarily what their talent levels are, but rather what they are compared to the rest of your squad. So, really, 2 Star+ is a decent signing for us, especially at the simple wages they usually want.
\We seem to have drafted in a lot of midfielders. Just two DC’s (and only one of any note) and the one natural ST. The full backs aren’t amazing either. But we have a lot of talent to come up front, so hopefully when we improve our youth coaching/recruitment next season, we’ll get more defensive players in. In best Loyd Grossman style, “Let’s look at the evidence”
First up is this guy.
Well. This guy I can use! He can play MR, so that’s the position sorted, without having to beat it into him. His Acceleration (16), Dribbling (14) & Technique (13) are all bang what I want. However, his Passing (9), Composure (4) and Positioning (3) are in dire need of improvement. I don’t really have anyone that can tutor him right now, so I may send him on loan next season if I can get promotion. If not, he’ll play a role with an eye on being my first choice in a season or two.
My lone natural striker. He’s 5’ 10” which makes him a giant among my forwards. His Determination (16), Teamwork (16) and Natural Fitness (15) are awesome for a 14-year-old. Finishing (11), Off The Ball (12) & Aggression (15) aren’t that bad either…. Only, he’s nothing like the kind of forward that I’m using right now!! So some heavy training for to become fluent in F9. His Vision (2), Decisions (4) & Concentration (5) are just appalling. He’ll follow the same pattern as Guy #1.
A Jack-Of-All-Trades right here. He can play wide, in the AM slot or up front. Even in stats, he’s very middling. I’m gonna mould him into a Shadow Striker, but he’s a bit of an enigma.. I may need to get in a dedicated player to tutor him, I think.
These three are my biggest hopes. The report that said Achille Poirer was the best player to come from in a few years and, to be fair, he is the most first-team ready of all the players coming in.
This guy might see some action this year. His First Touch (11), Dribbling (12) & Acceleration (16) are fantastic, which gives me a good player in that attacking winger position. Technique (12), Work Rate (11) and Agility (11) are also excellent for his age. I think I’ll try to train him in the ‘Knocks Ball Past Opponent’ PPM to really help in the role that I’ll play him. Obviously, he needs work on Crossing (6), Composure (5) & Vision (8), these will be things against him in my eyes as he plays more frequently.
THE PROSPECTS GAME
A surprising win for the U-19’s against the Youth Intake. YI had much the better of the stats, with more shots on target, but failed to make a lot of them count. Scoring the winner, Sami Pineau was a HOYD pickup from Paris FC 2000, which made me happy as it showed to me that he could step up in a year or two. His passing stats showed that he didn’t waste many, just 7 (52 of 59) as he played well. Man-of-the-Match Thibault Cillard was an overlooked prospect that also may get some game time in the near future. In contrast, the YI team showed very little, but that could be attributed to age, maybe. I’ll continue to watch the odd U-19 game to see how they fare.