Football Manager: Best Training Program for Your First Season

Training in the Football Manager series tends to become more in-depth with each annual instalment. A principle supported by the introduction of FM20, where some have argued that the training system has changed too much. It is estimated that around 80% of Football Manager players set their assistants to take control of training, simply because the process has become so in-depth and time-consuming. However, if you really want to get the best out of your side then getting hands-on is the only way to do so, unlike Football Manager training of the past having the best 5-star coaches alone won't yield the best improvements to your players.

Understanding the Limitations of Training

Bundesliga icons Bayern Munich have much better training facilities than a club such as Dulwich Hamlet of the National League South and therefore player development will be more improved at the German giants, Likewise, Bayern will be able to attract and afford the highest reputation coaches, while Dulwich Hamlet will only be able to offer part-time contracts in the first season, limiting the quality of coach they can bring into the club and therefore restricting their players' ability to improve statistically via training. Factors such as these must be taken into account before judging any training programme, as you simply won't get the best out of your players until you are competing at the highest level.

Another obvious factor in getting the best out of your players through training programmes is making sure your players are still within the age of development and possess the physical potential to improve. The best improvements to player statistics will be found in the age ranges of 16-24, with players generally peaking between the ages of 26-31. It is always a good idea to check a player's current ability and compare it to their potential ability as any young player with a potential ability of 4 or more stars could go on to be one of the best players in the game, but only if they receive the best training programme, at the best facilities, from the best coaches, anything less and they will never reach their true potential.

What Makes the Best Training Programme?

As mentioned above, the best training programme can only be realised when you are in control of a club with good training facilities and top coaches, but the same principles can be applied to any lower league teams as long as you lower your expectations levels somewhat. The following tips on training and development in Football Manager 2020 have been gathered from using the advice of Rober82 and Cadoni and have been tested by FM Scout on their YouTube channel with excellent results.


Personality traits play a huge role in FM20 and to ensure you have the most positive effect on your players' development only bring in coaches who possess the model citizen, professional, or model professional personalities. These personality traits will even enhance your coaches' personal development as well as the players they are working with. Key stats to any high rating coach on FM20 are determination, level of discipline and motivating, so if you are at a top clubs then try to find coaches who possess at least a 15 in each of these categories if possible.


So often in FM20, manages will train their players in specific positions but leaving this area blank and simply playing the player in the position you wish to get them more used to playing whilst setting their individual training intensity to double will produce much better results. Remember to select an area in a player's individual training which you deem needs the most improvement e.g crossing and you could see an improvement of between +1 and +3 by the end of the first season.


When in the training tab click on ‘rest' and you will be taken to a section labelling the conditions of players and which intensity to train them at when their condition is at a certain percentage. When a players' condition is at 59% or below select ‘no pitch or gym work‘, between 60-69% select ‘half intensity', 70-79% use ‘normal intensity', and anything from 80-89% and 90%+ select ‘double intensity'. These selections will help you to avoid unnecessary injuries to your players as well as assuring they get the best out of their training programme.

Training Programmes

Training schedules in FM20 are set week by week and these three training programmes have been created to be used on 1. a week when you have one match to play, 2. a week when you have two matches to play, and 3. a week when you have no matches to play. Here is a breakdown of the training programmes and what you should assign on each day, with all three programmes being set to double intensity.

One Match Week

Monday – S1: Physical. S2: Overall. ES: Rest.

Tuesday – S1: Outfield. S2: Match Practice. ES: Recovery.

Wednesday – S1: Attacking. S2 Defending. ES: Rest.

Thursday – S1: Att. Movement. S2: Def. Shape. ES Recovery.

Friday – S1: Transition – Press. S2: Rest. ES: Match Preview.

Saturday – S1: Rest. S2: Match. ES: Rest.

Sunday – S1: Recovery. S2: Rest. ES: Rest.

Two Match Week

Monday – S1: Outfield. S2: Rest. ES: Rest.

Tuesday – S1: Transition – Press. S2: Rest. ES: Match Preview.

Wednesday – S1: Rest. S2 Match. ES: Rest.

Thursday – S1: Recovery. S2: Match Preview. ES Rest.

Friday – S1: Attacking. S2: Rest. ES: Match Preview.

Saturday – S1: Rest. S2: Match. ES: Rest.

Sunday – S1: Recovery. S2: Rest. ES: Rest.

No Match Week

Monday – S1: Physical. S2: Transition – Press. ES: Rest.

Tuesday – S1: Overall. S2: Transition – Restrict. ES: Rest.

Wednesday – S1: Match Tactics. S2 Match Practice. ES: Recovery.

Thursday – S1: Attacking Overlap. S2: Defending from the Front. ES Play from the Back.

Friday – S1: Teamwork. S2: Att. Movement. ES: Def. Shape.

Saturday – S1: Match Tactics. S2: Match Practice. ES: Recovery.

Sunday – S1: Recovery. S2: Def. Free Kicks. ES: Rest.

These training programmes have been geared towards a particular style of play and formation, which can be tweaked to something more suitable to your own philosophy, but in general, produced the best development of the selected players. In testing, these training programmes were used on a Borussia Dortmund side in their first season and yielded much better results when compared with the same players' development under the training programme provided by the assistant manager.

Remember, this is more of a guide and certainly isn't an exploit of the FM20 training system, but should improve your understanding of training programmes and help you to develop your players much more than any assistant manager can.

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Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.