Today's [quick] blog outlines what I did in my first few weeks to ensure Grasshopper Club Zürich (GCZ) becomes a leader at producing youth: in particular by installing a professionalism attitude into the squad. In real life, professionalism is perhaps the most important influence on an athlete's development. As my Karate Sensei once told me: "hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard". In FM, professionalism governs how hard a player trains. If a player trains well his attributes rise (and thus his current ability). This pretty much correlates to real life, where hard work (generally) beats talent, especially in professional sports.
Now, back to GCZ...as you may know, this is a long term 'project' as explained here.
As part of my challenge from Seasons 4 to 8, I have placed this restriction on my squad:
- at least 5 Homegrown GCZ Newgens* must be in the match day squad for each domestic match (league and cup)
From Season 9+, I further increase this to:
- at least 8 Homegrown GCZ Newgens* must be in the match day squad for each domestic (league and cup) AND Champions League matches. 5 of these must be Swiss nationality
The hunt for Professionalism
Therefore, my sole focus from Day 1 of the save was to assemble a professional youth coaching set up that would change Swiss (& possibly World) football forever! I am not going to go into detail about Youth Development, as this is covered in the exceptional blog article by @Cleon81 here.
I knew from playing the beta that GCZ was in need of staff, especially a Head of Youth Development (HoYD) and additional U18 coaches. I went so far as reserving a budget of circa £5k on wages for extra staff. This is the equivalent wages of a very good Swiss Super League player. So it was always a question of whether I would accept short term pain (of missing out on a 1st team player) for overall long term gain. The notable recruits for the development of youth are:
I was absolutely delighted to find staff with strong stats in Professionalism and Determination. Especially Arne Friedrich, whose 'Model Professional' personality is hopefully going to rub off on a few Newgens in upcoming youth intakes. This will make an enormous difference as to how they approach training and eventually reach their potential ability at GCZ.
This week's blog is short, mainly because it's been a busy week with real life stuff. However I am hopeful of updating you on my GCZ save, as I suspect half of Season 1 (around 18 league games) will have been played by next Friday. I will therefore update you all with my progress, in the meantime you can view my Twitter for regular updates.
Thank you for reading,