Youth training is a bit slower and does NOT depend at all on the type of training set for the senior team. A player can be promoted only if he is at least 17 years old and was in your youth academy for at least one season, so you may have plenty of time to train him if he is scouted when he is 15 or 16 years old.
A junior player might pop in more than one skill per week thanks to a double training choice:
- primary trainings will give a normal boost (a little less than the standard amount for seniors),
- secondary training will give gets a smaller boost.
Note that if you set an identical training for both you will not train at full potential because a little part of the training will be lost.
You also have "Individual training" which trains each player randomly to a relevant skill, though the owner has no control over which skill gets chosen; a skill that is already capped may get picked, resulting in no training for that player.
In fact, players in the youth team have a "cap" for their abilities. You can’t always see the skill of a youth player, you will have to watch his performances and coach reports to determine whether you should stop training him on a skill or not.
At a certain moment the player won’t improve anymore, and supposedly the youth coach will tell you when the player is ready to be promoted because he has learned everything there is to learn about that skill.
The best training strategy is most likely to wait until the most gifted players, the ones that the training focuses on, are fully grown, even if this may mean training them beyond their 17th birthday. On the other hand, you won't have good players every week, so it's worth it to wait to promote your little star until (more or less) all skills are capped. On the long term, this means that there will promote fewer trainees, but their average level will be better.
Over time, a handful of opposing factions have arisen battling on how to take the most from the YA mechanics of scouting and training. The "Zugism" and "Zapasism" schools of thought assume that a great number of trainees should be kept in the Youth Academy for the longest time possible to maximize their multi-skill potential. Alternatively, some managers follow the dictates of "Xarnism" and "Berthlism" and argue that maximum potential can be achieved by focusing on the production of an elite of 17-year-olds star players (i.e. an "international" player) with high primary skills and just one useful secondary.
The choice is not so obvious: while the "collective" training program will leave players behind in terms of primary skill early on, the "elitist" one will not be enough to build a multi-skilled player in the long term; by the time he reaches a very high primary level he will also be trained at a very inefficient pace. Nevertheless, managers usually focus on primary skill levels mainly for matters of national teams and transfer market advantage within the game.
The elitist framework
An elite player (preferably with excellent potential) is very demanding and he tends to cannibalize all the competitors in the YA nest. A manager should maximize his primary skill by the time he is 17 years and 0 day. Then, after being pulled near the age of 17.0, he will continue to receive primary skill training team and one useful secondary within senior. By doing so, one player of this elite should light up and shine like a star.
The Xarnist approach maintains that, in the best interests of both parent club and national U-20 program, managers should attempt to produce a very few highly specialized 17 year old promotees. This doctrine of Youth Academy development derives from the forum's proselytism of American manager Xarn5, after his obsession with YA product Sydney Hunt.
The Xarnists believe that the most effective way to achieve a promotable player at the age of 17.00 is to, almost exclusively, accept 15 year old prospects when offered by the scouts and train him to excellent in primary skill. It is also imperative that the player reaches the caps even in a relevant secondary skill before the promotion.
While focusing on training one individual, there is still space for other prospects to come along, and it is possible to have a group of supporting trainees, albeit of minor importance. Unfortunately, uncertainty dominates the future of supporting actors alongside the identified star. A Xarnist manager may not continue training in the same primary skill for other players once the one to whom the entire training is dedicated hits the ceiling in skill.
The Berthlism doctrine of YA development says that, training the player with highest potential, a manager should always aim to create a real "star". The basis of the Berthlism dogma was laid during a discussion on the forum by Berthli.
Berthlism says one should:
- find the proper primary training by scouting a player with highest potential - a "star";
- find the proper secondary training by deciding which secondary training fits to the primary training of the "star".
The effect is to have a smaller number of highly developed promotable players therefore with a greater chance of being selected by the national team.
The collective network
A collective group of trainees embraces the idea of maximizing training on well-rounded players taking overall advantage of the YA system, above all the fact of receiving secondary training that is not available within the Senior squad; but also the fact that lower skill levels train faster.
All YA limitations and caps no longer bother managers who train a lot of skills at a low level instead of one at high level. Additionally, junior players thrive best in a fully dedicated training facility despite the disadvantage of training ceilings and individual skill caps.,
Every given trainee will become a multi-skilled senior player if trained in all skills without particular urgency to raise the primary. The manager can keep the player within the YA as long as he is suitable for training; and only then he will train the primary within the senior team.
The Zugism approach supports the development of a core of well-rounded players with multiple high skills. They can be promoted not earlier than their 18th birthday, but it’s probably best to wait until the player is fully-grown, then it’s possible that he’s even older than that. The founder (Mighty) zug, owner and manager of the team American Verdant Strike, pitched the idea on forum following the obsessive development curation of his own players.
To became a fervent Zugist you must accept that once promoted to senior team the player will continue to grow and he is going to recover quickly even if starting with a lower primary. Therefore it is best to train the player's secondaries and create a well-framework of skill while still in YA. The fundamentalists also believe that a promotable player don't have to be a 15 years old prospects at all costs, since what really matters are the average high secondary skills.
In summary, the advantages of this method are:
- players can be trained on more than one skill, and only then the primary is trained;
- players will be better than the average youth pull from the current youth squad as the secondary skills are well developed.
The effect sought by Zapasism is to implement at most the largest number of promotable players, but leaving only small hopes of growing a big star. It was promoted by Zapasiewicz during a diatribe on forum that targeted Berthli.
The followers should concentrate on training a large group of players going through this distinctive steps:
- select a group of players that has the highest potential when trained with the proper primary training;
- find the proper secondary training by selecting a different group of players with average potential and train them.
With this approch, the secondary training does NOT need to adapt to primary training at all costs.
The proof that could definitively settle the question of which is the preferred development of the player could have been the results obtained by the two major contending managers, Zug and Xarn, in their Youth Academy. Unfortunately, Zug did not continue with Hattrick, taking a sabbatical at that time.
However, Zug's players (Ernest Schummacher in particular, who as he once put it, "would be the greatest US Winger ever developed") had better secondary skill upon promotion than Xarn's famous U-20 and NT mainstay Sydney Hunt. With a near lifetime of training, Sydney Hunt eventually became a star indeed. Nevertheless, it was just a matter of time and of extended training on the still low primary skill and Schummacher would eventually become the best player with both an equivalent primary, and superior secondaries.
It should be remembered that the Zugist method was especially effective at the time when players could not train as fast as in YA even with an excellent coach and with the maximum of assistant coaches)
It can still be said that both methods have their own value and that the managers choice depends only on goals they want to achieve with YA.The Hattrick market is not entirely efficient, and manager preferences dominate the market value of players. As a vestige of the old training system, the economic value of a player for sale on the transfer market will be optimized by following a Xarnist approach. However, the value of a player within the match engine, over the course of the player's life, will be optimized by following a Zuggist strategy.
Xarn for dough, Zug to grow. (Mightyzug motto)