All my Football Manager saves from the recent past had some specific transfer policy. The FM21 edition is not the exception. Same as I usually like to have some aims and goals of the save. It’s not a secret that I like to have my squad based on the domestic players. Some of my squads were filled only with the players from the nation I played in. My first team in FM21 is a little bit different. Mainly because of my Scandinavian scouting network.
Around the Lake, Search for Set Pieces, El Buitre filters and many more. The FM21 took me to Scandinavia. That means my scouting and recruitment policy will be very straightforward and easily find out.
“I like to build a domestic squad but I also like to find players in the nearest countries. Scandinavia is an absolutely perfect place to do this. I already have some idea of how to do this. It all depends on the possibilities straight in the game in terms of the number of scouts available.
And it also depends on the area I will be able to send our scouts. I would like to make it even to England in the future of the save if it will be possible but that’s something for the separate post maybe…”
I wrote the quote above in the first post of this save when I tried to share some of my aims of the save.
“Scandinavia refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, sometimes more narrowly to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or more broadly to include the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Finland and Iceland. The broader definition is similar to what is locally called the Nordic countries when we want to include all countries together.”
We started with the blank recruitment team. No director of football, no scouts, no analysts, nothing. Our world scouting knowledge was 3%. We didn’t have 100% of knowledge even within Scandinavia in 2020.
How the club possibilites changed during the save so far?
The recruitment team development
The save file from December 2020 (the end of the first season in Superettan, 2nd tier) tells me we had Ola Nilsson as our Chief Scout and Kennedy Bakircioglü and Mikael Nilsson as normal scouts. All our possibilities in the first two seasons were limited by finances and our network was a small one, mainly within Sweden only.
Mikael Nilsson has 100% knowledge of Denmark so he was the one who went abroad as the first one while Bakircioglü remain in Sweden and Ola Nilsson was roaming around the whole of Scandinavia.
The world knowledge improved to 5% at this time. Better than nothing, right?
Two years later, in October 2022, just after the first league title, we received the news about the possibility to sign 4 scouts instead of 2. I replaced Bakircioglü with Jesper Pedersen in 2021 as Bakircioglü went to Elfsborg for more money.
I also had Torben Aakjaer, a very good Danish scout who worked for Manchester United or Zenit in the past. But he remained only about 16 months with us and went to Stromsgodset.
The main difference was that Pedersen spent a lot of time around Europe itself scouting youth competitions like UEFA Youth League or European U20 Elite League and more.
Rejected. Rejected. Accepted.
My dream is to have specialised scout for each country within Scandinavia. But:
- Scouts willing to sign for us are not good enough
- Our board refuses to allow a higher number of scouts in the club
That’s why I’m doing exceptions while searching for new scouts. Mainly in terms of adjusting the knowledge level. That’s how I find Per Nillson recently (more below).
It took me 5 requests to increase the number of scouts between 2022 and 2025. That’s where we are now in the game universe.
I replaced our chief scout in 2023 when Russian Pawel Naboyshchikov took a job from Ola Nilsson.
The current recruitment team
We still have Mikael Nilsson and Jesper Pedersen, both improved slightly during the save. I signed the best possible scout for Finland and Denmark in Mika Lipponen and Jannik Nielsen respectively.
And in January 2025 the club board accepted my request to increase the number of scouts to 5! I signed a former Swedish national team player Per Nilsson who spent his career with AIK, Hoffenheim or FC Kobenhavn. And worked also for RB Leipzig since 2017 as a scout. He has 100% knowledge of Sweden and Germany. And he has 60% knowledge of the other four Scandinavian countries.
I finished the 2024 season at the time when I knew the next calendar year within the game will take me probably much more time due to real-life commitments.
It was one of the reasons why I decided to slow down my playing time even more and restart the assignments and set everything properly from the scratch.
You can see in the picture above that all scouts have only one current scouting assignments. It’s also because I manually ended all their assignments for a single player or some competition.
I divided my current scouts into three groups – complete Scandinavia, Sweden and other specific countries.
Jannik Nielsen, Mika Liponnen and Per Nilsson are set to scout Denmark, Finland and Norway. The first two have 100% knowledge of their respective countries, Nilsson has the adaptability attribute of 16 so I have no concern about him scouting in a foreign country.
Our chief scout Pawel Naboyshchikov is roaming around the whole of Scandinavia. He has two additional conditions – at least very good potential ability and the age at most 21. Naboyshchikov has the adaptability attribute of 20.
“A high adaptability attribute will enable the staff member to settle quickly in a new country but will also help a little in settling in at new clubs and new roles. The faster a member of staff can integrate into their new working environment, the quicket and better they can do their job.”FM Adaptability attribute description.
He has his assignment set only for 6 months and I will revalue it after that. And maybe make some small changes. The big advantage is that he is not restricted to search players from a specific country or age so he is able to find some domestic but also foreign players.
During the first three weeks, he was able to deliver reports about Swedish, Faroese, Welsh and French player. A perfect mix and exactly what I want. For example THIS ONE.
All three scouts who are abroad are set to search for players with Very Good potential ability. Why not only good for example? Because I’m old school man and I like to use the old truth: the foreign player has to be better than your own to be worth buying.
Teamwork & Natural Fitness
The last two scouts are based domestically. Mikael Nilsson is better in scouting current ability (16) and that’s the reason why he is the only scout from all who is scouting CURRENT ability rather than potential.
The aim is to find a player who will or who can make the immediate impact. That’s why the level of the current ability is set to Superb. And he is also instructed to find players which will fit our current formation.
Our second domestic-based scout is Jesper Pedersen who is limited by age (at most 18) and potential ability (good). The aim is to have some overview within the young players and to be able to potentially sign some good prospect.
All of our scouts have also two attributes specified. My attributes threshold is set to 13 from 20. That means these two attributes are also set to this value.
We started this save with the lowest package available. It cost us around €5K per year. The package level and its value also show how our recruitment developed in quite a short time.
I was able to adjust the scouting budget before the 2025 season as we got more than €12M for transfers. It’s not something I would use so it was an easy decision to move money to the scouting budget.
It allows us to buy the Scandinavia scouting package for €394K per year. This package covers all players in this region. (There are too many players now!!!)
“The package determines the number of players to search through as well as increasing the kowledge level and player role visibility of players covered. Recruitment analysts will also use these packages to suggest potential signings.”FM description of the recruitment package
The first results
Dennis Collander is one of my main targets for potential central midfield improvement. It would be probably the new biggest transfer fee spent record. He was scouted by Mikael Nilsson who is set to scout around Sweden and he is trying to find players who are able to go straight to the starting XI.
I don’t have to say he scored against us a week after I made him our top transfer target…
Scout Per Nilsson who is set to roam in Norway found goalkeeper Andreas Linde. He is Swedish, 31 years old and he is out of contract at the end of the current calendar year. And he is better in comparison with our current number one Viktor Frodig. A great find, Per…
It’s interesting that both these keepers were wanted by Bodo/Glimt at the time when I wrote this post.
I mentioned already and the nearest aim remains the same in terms of increasing the number of our scouts to be able to sign scouts for the rest of Scandinavian nations.
It’s probable that the first one when it will be allowed, will be someone specialised in Iceland. Another certain thing is that I will continue with “my own” way of finding and signing players. I like to sign players under the age of 17 with a positive personality – usually Professional, Model Citizen and Perfectionist.
All or most of them for free and without a contract. And I follow their development. Maybe something more about it in the future if the time will allow it…
It’s mainly about the patient and I like to make it all in terms of long-term searching and considering the options and possibilities. Rather than to have short-term assignments. The main reason is that I like to have my squad prepared for at least one and a half-season beforehand.
That means I will only have to react if there would be some big sell-out.
That’s all my thoughts about my scouting network.
Thanks for reading.