Planning for success: A Football Manager guide

As virtual football managers, our worlds can get a little chaotic at times. We are always thinking, always planning. If you are anything like me then you will also like to control every aspect of your club; from top to bottom. At times, it can get a little daunting.

planning for succes header image

Success depends upon previous preparation. Without such preparation then there is sure to be failure.

When immersed in Football Manager, I am always forming ideas. Whether it is a new training schedule I want to implement, a new idea for a system to try out in pre-season, or an article I have come across that I want to read.

I needed a way to catalogue my thoughts.

Trello web view

To help me run my club successfully, I started noting these thoughts and making reminders. The short-term goal for me is to be successful enough so that I am still in my job to see the long-term goals to come to fruition.

This is where tools like Trello help. A simple and basic tool that allows me to create planning boards for my five main categories: transfers and contracts, backroom staff, training, tactics, and research.

I have access to my planning boards wherever I am. I have it on my phone, and on my laptop. It allows me to make notes, upload images, save documents, link to websites etc. no matter where I am. When I am back in my home office and enter my virtual world, I have my boards right next to me.

Once I have my basic view setup and I have added my five boards, I then set about adding cards as and when I need to. Cards are like virtual post-it notes. A small reminder.

The Tactics Board

Do you ever find yourself browsing Slack, or scribbling down a rough formation in notes and thinking about how you might implement that into the game, but forget by the time you have access to do so?

This is where my tactics board comes to my aid. Here I will primarily add new ideas, notes if you will, about things I want to try out, be it a new role or a completely new system.

For example, if I’ve just scribbled down a formation, either in notes or on a piece of paper, I can create a photo (screenshot or taking a picture) and upload that directly into Trello.

The Transfers and Contracts Board

I will use my transfers and contracts board to note down players who have been highly recommended to me by my scouts, in positions and roles that are key.

I will also take a note of players who are a year away from contract expiry and check again in December when I will be able to make an offer to them.

I will also use this board if I have come across a discussion about a player on Slack or twitter who I think I would want to scout on my own game. It is a simple reminder to me to check them out and then see if I want to pursue my interest further.

I use a simple code of Trn. for players I want to buy, Ctr. for those whose contracts I am keeping an eye on, and finally Sct. for those who I want to scout if I was not in the game at the time of reading about the players.

The Backroom Staff Board

Much like the transfers and contracts board, I will use the staff board to keep notes on staff who I might want to sign when existing staff member contracts expire.

I will also keep notes for my own staff. Sometimes I won’t want to pay expensive termination fees so I will keep a note of who is and isn’t sticking around.

The Research Board

The community is putting out so much great new content on a regular basis. When I come across something that I want to read I will add this to my research board.

To do this I will open it up on my phone (this is where I do most of my browsing) and select to add it to Trello (using the same process with photos for tactics).

Adding content to Trello
For content, I will add it the same was as tactics, and it will even write the name for me. I make sure I select the right board before saving.

When I’ve added it, I can open the board on my laptop and the piece will be there waiting for me.

Once the task is complete, you can drag it to a new board (I call mine ‘completed’), just to keep the boards tidy.

And that’s how I keep on top of the various tasks I assign myself as a virtual football manager.

Oliver Jensen – @FMfutbolManager


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