The main goal of Ajax is simple, have three players make the first team every two seasons. It seems quite reasonable doesn’t it?!. But why is there such a great need for this to happen. Well, again this is rather simple, they need the money to fund the first teams salaries. The more players they have make the first team as soon as possible the sooner they’ll be able to sell them on for what is hopefully a big transfer fee. This is the main reason why they are so demanding and seem almost cruel in their selection process. Throughout the time at the academy a player learns both the technical and mental aspects of the game.
I think this part will be easily recreated in FM, maybe not the having three good players who are able to be sold but selling players shouldn’t be an issue really.
So how does all this fit into FM then I hear you ask.
Well it’s going to be a struggle to begin with as I have to reshape the club to how I want it to be run. This will include hiring the correct type of staff. Sorting through the current players at the club and deciding who can/cannot make it. While at the same time trying to get good enough results so I keep my job and don’t get fired.
As you’ll have read from the development bit slightly further up, I will be applying the same logic as the youth team in terms of players. So I’ll be following this;
Every Ajax youth eleven has 16 players. There are 2 goalkeepers. Four righ tfooted players are selected for positions 2, 6, and 7 (right back, right midfield, right wing fwd), Four left footed players for positions 5, 8 and 11 (left back, left midfield, left forward), Three players for 3 and 4 (central defenders) and finally three players for 9 and 10 (striker and shadow striker). This applies from the Under 10 team up to the first eleven. During the players’ development, therefore, they play in the two or three positions within the team for which they have been selected.
While Ajax might be considered a big club, in FM terms they have a very young squad which is rather average to begin with. So trying to adapt the Ajax way into the saved game will be difficult and take a lot of planning.
I can’t just take over the club and expect everything to fall into place the way I want it to. There must be some kind of transitional period that allows me to bring in new coaches, scouts, players and tutors. If not then I’ll fail and probably be sacked. With this in mind I’ve given myself three seasons to bring in enough quality staff and older players to use as tutors.
I also need to set up a large scouting network so I can scour the globe for players aged between 14-17 who I think might make a good addition to the youth teams. At first I wasn’t going to bring anyone in but it seems like Ajax do this a lot so I thought I’d do the same. That doesn’t mean I’ll be going mad and buying everyone though, I have to set myself some limits. So I’ve decided I can’t buy anyone over the age of 17 and I can’t spend more than £2 million on a single player.
The idea behind brining tutors into the club is to help develop the youth I have at the club and try and give them a certain type of personality. I think this alone will be the biggest challenge I face as the turn over of these types of players that I bring into the club will be quite large. They’ll not be available to play for the first team though, I’m brining them in with the sole purpose of just been tutors and nothing more.
I’m hoping that spending time in these first few seasons will build a great foundation for what I am trying to achieve. So by the start of the fourth season, I expect everything to be in place for how I want to shape the club and take them forward.
Some of you might think this is an excessive amount of time but hopefully as the thread develops you’ll see why I went to the lengths I have and understand it a little better.