The first 5 steps you MUST take to achieve lower league success

Thinking of starting a career in the lower echelon's of football? This quick, easy guide has 5 great starting points that will get you well on the way with a fantastic start to life nurturing the next Jamie Vardy and completing the next Peterborough United story!

1. Scouting
Your first step, at any level of the football pyramid but most importantly at the lower levels where resources are scarce, should be to hire a talented scouting team. Whilst we all know how important it is to find a scouting team with a high rating in judging player ability and potential, it's also really key to find someone who suits your system; it's no good spending your limited staff wages on a scout who can judge a player superbly, but has a preferred formation and playing style which are completely different to what your club needs. Similarly, don't hire a highly rated, Italian scout with expectations of finding bargains abroad if your club won't finance scouting trips abroad.

Jamie Cureton is a scout who fits my playing style and has good knowledge of England, as well as good key attributes 

2. Utilise the non-contract system
Lower league sides play considerably more games on poor playing surfaces, without the high levels of training to get them into the best condition, and as such, player fatigue and injury plays a huge part. I learnt first hand the frustration of splashing out wages on 2 or 3 big signings, only to find them ruled out for months due to injury, a luxury a side with minimal finances cannot afford. This is where the non-league side can take advantage of the non-contract, where by sides can pay a player per appearance, with no weekly wage. Whilst this does leave the club open to losing the player free of charge, it is a really handy way of accumulating back up players, ready to step in at a moment's notice when your star striker picks up a 4 week injury. Additionally, whilst in theory players can leave for free to other clubs, I have only ever lost one player, and that was because I wasn't too fussed about keeping him - usually when a player is offered a contract elsewhere they will happily stay put when offered a new non-contract worth a few pounds more per appearance.

3. Find a parent club
Loan signings are a key in securing success at the lower league (read more about my top 10 non-league loan signings here) but it can be difficult to afford the 20% of wages required by the parent club, or to persuade a premier league youngster that a season in Morecambe is really what he wants. These problems can all be alleviated by finding a higher league parent club, who will send you players they want to obtain loan experience without the expenses of their wages. It can also generate extra revenue, via mandatory pre-season friendlies and annual payments.

4. Splash the cash on defence!
As I have mentioned previously, funds are limited the lower down the pyramid you go. Typically, defenders at this level of football manager are prone to ridiculous errors, which border on the ludicrous, and in my experience goals are not hard to come by, even for the less talented of strikers. As a result, whilst top strikers will still shine above the rest, the shrewdest way to work the transfer market in my experience is to spend wisely on assembling a solid back 4. In my experience, an experienced centre back alongside a younger, pacey centre back (possibly a loanee) alongside two defensively minded, narrow full backs and a fast sweeper keeper will ensure clean sheets, and allow the rest of your team to capitalise on the frequent errors by defenders at the other end of the pitch.

5. Spend time on your set pieces
This one applies at all levels of the game, but is of particular importance at the lower levels of the game, when delivery is often of a poorer quality if you just leave the players to it on the automated set up. Spend the time to ensure that when defending set pieces you have your fastest players waiting to counter attack, and create a number of routines for each side of the pitch for corners; I have found success through crowding everyone into the box with my highest rated long shooter on the edge of the box. Time spent on set pieces is time well spent, it's the gift that keeps giving all season long, as teams don't have the time to prepare for your set pieces, particularly at the semi-pro level.
Being the league's joint top scorer on corner's so far this reason has helped elevate me to third, with games in hand



4-1-4-1 Tactic,1,4-3-1-2,3,4-4-2,1,5-2-1-2 Tactic,1,Abdelhak Nouri,1,AC Sparta Prague,1,Accrington,1,Adam McGurk,1,AHB,1,AJAX,2,Alex Grimaldo,2,Alex Teixeira,3,Anderson Lopez,1,Andrija Zivkovic,1,Ante Coric,1,Anthony Martial,2,Arsenal,1,Arshavin,1,AS Roma,1,Baptista,1,BARGAIN BUYS,6,Barnet,1,Ben Walsh,2,Birmingham,1,Blue,2,BOSMAN,1,Breel Embolo,1,Brexit,1,Brighton,2,Brøndby,3,Bundesliga,1,CAREER,32,Carlton Cole,1,Celtic,2,CHALLENGE,1,champ man,1,Champions League,3,Championship,7,Championship Manager,1,Che Nunnely,1,Chinese Super League,12,Correa,1,Crawley,7,Cristian Ledesma,1,Cristiano Ronaldo,5,Crystal Palace,2,CTFC,7,Czech,1,Daniel Dimech,1,David Olver,6,Defensive,1,Denmark,4,DEVELOPMENT,1,Dimitri Payet,1,discipline,1,Donny van de Beek,1,downloads,10,Eden Hazard,1,Editor,1,England,10,Eredivisie,2,Euro 2016,7,FA Cup,1,False Nine,1,Fantasy,1,Finland,3,First Division,1,FM,8,fm 16,12,FM 16 COACHES,1,FM 16 LOANS,2,FM 16 TRAINING,1,FM 17,1,FM 2016,2,FM Career,46,FM COACHES,1,FM Editor,1,FM Guide,10,FM LOGOS,3,FM NEWS,198,FM Story,41,FM TIPS,2,FM TRAINING,1,FM. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2016,1,FM14 BEST PLAYERS,10,FM14 BOSMAN RULING PLAYERS,3,FM14 DATA UPDATES,3,FM14 FACEPACK,5,FM14 FREE PLAYERS,9,FM14 GRAPHICS,2,FM14 GUIDE,9,FM14 HINTS AND TIPS,9,FM14 LOGOS,3,FM14 SKINS,8,FM14 STAFF,4,FM14 TUTORIALS,8,FM14 UPDATES,7,FM14 WONDERKIDS,64,FM14 WONDERKIDS LIST,5,FM15 BEST PLAYERS,10,FM15 GUIDE,8,FM15 HINTS AND TIPS,6,FM15 SKINS,2,FM15 STAFF,1,FM15 TACTICS,2,FM15 TOP WONDERKIDS,10,FM15 TRANSFER UPDATE,3,FM15 TUTORIALS,4,FM15 U18,5,FM15 WINTER TRANSFER UPDATE,3,FM15 WONDERKIDS,12,FM16,157,FM16 BEST FREE AGENTS,12,FM16 BEST PLAYERS,27,FM16 BEST WONDERKIDS,21,FM16 CHALLENGES,6,FM16 COMEBACK,1,FM16 FREE PLAYERS,13,FM16 GUIDE,38,FM16 HINTS AND TIPS,29,FM16 PROZONE,1,FM16 STAFF,2,FM16 Story,14,FM16 TACTICS,9,FM16 TEAM GUIDE,11,FM16 TIPS,3,FM16 TRAINING,1,FM16 TRICKS,4,FM16 TUTORIAL,6,FM16 TUTORING,1,FM16 WONDERKID REVIEW,21,FM16 WONDERKIDS,42,FM17,12,FM17 DOWNLOADS,1,FM17 GUIDE,3,FM17 TRANSFER BUDGETS,2,FM17 TUTORIAL,1,FM2012,3,FM2013,148,FM2014,66,FM2015,17,FM2016,6,FM2017,1,FOOTBALL BLOGGING AWARDS,1,football manager 2010,2,Football Manager 2011,20,football manager 2012,20,FOOTBALL MANAGER 2016,13,FOOTBALL MANAGER 2017,12,football manager career,9,Football Manager Shots,1,FOOTBALL TALK,57,Francesco Antonucci,1,free football manager pc game,1,Full Back,1,Games and Quizzes,9,Gareth Bale,1,George Long,1,germany,1,Goal United,1,GOALKEEPER,3,GOALS,2,Grafite,1,Graphics,7,Guangzhou,3,Guide,1,Gwion Edwards,3,High Pressing,1,hints and tips,36,Iceland,3,Ingame,4,Ireland,2,Irish Premier League,1,Jackson Martinez,3,James Buckley,1,James Scarborough,1,Jamie Einchcomb,12,Jay Michael,23,Jesus Vallejo,1,Jiangsu,4,Jock Stein,1,John Dwerryhouse,3,John Stones,1,Jong Ajax,1,Jupiler League,1,Justin Kluivert,1,kits,10,Kristoffer Ajer,3,League,11,League One,2,League Two,4,Leeds,2,Leeds United,4,LEICESTER,1,Lewis Cook,2,Leyton Orient,1,Liam O'Farrell,1,Lionel Messi,1,Liverpool,1,Liverpool Challenge,1,loan,1,Loic Remy,1,Loris Karius,1,Low League Management,3,Lucas Andersen,1,MAKING PROPER USE,1,Manchester Utd,2,Marc Cribbin,3,Martin Odegaard,1,Matheus Pereira,1,Mathieu Baudry,1,matthew Dumm,2,Matthijs de Ligt,1,Miles Jacobson,58,Nadir Ciftci,1,new features for fm2010,1,New game,1,new site,1,New-gens,1,Newcastle,2,Non-League,1,Norway,3,Oliver,1,Part 1,1,Part 2,1,Patches,8,PATCHES AND UPDATES,26,Patrik,1,Paul Heffernan,1,Paul Salter,7,Peter Crouch,1,Possession,1,psp,3,QUICKEST PLAYERS,1,Ramires,1,Rangers,1,RANIERI,1,Real Madrid,3,Richairo Zivkovic,1,RichardLeahy,1,Roaming Playmaker,1,robilaz,2,Romelu Lukaku,1,Ross Barkley,1,Roy Hodgson,1,Ruben Neves,1,Rui Pedro,2,Ryan Rhodes,1,Sami Khedira,1,Scandinavia,3,Scenario,1,Schalke,1,Schick,1,SCOUTING,3,seagulls,2,Seamus Conneely,1,Sergio Rico,1,Shamrock Rovers,1,Shaun Batt,1,shortlist,26,Signings,1,Simon Topp,3,skin,4,Søren Wieborg,2,SPL,1,squad depth,1,Steve Sidwell,1,Story,1,STRIKERS,3,Suwon,1,Sweden,3,tactics,18,Tim Howard,1,Tony Sanabria,1,TOP 10,4,TOP 5,4,Top 6,1,Tottenham Hotspur,2,TRAINING,2,training schedule,1,TRANSFERS,20,TUTORIALS AND GUIDES,56,Under 19's,1,Underdog,1,Vaclav Cerny,1,Wenger Out,1,Wezz Westbrook,4,Wide Playmaker,2,Wolves,1,Wonderkid,4,wonderkids,27,Xabi Prieto,2,Yanbian Fude,12,Youngster,2,YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,1,YOUTH INTAKE,1,YOUTUBE,16,Zidane trick,1,
Football Manager 2017 Blog: The first 5 steps you MUST take to achieve lower league success
The first 5 steps you MUST take to achieve lower league success
Thinking of starting a career in the lower echelon's of football? This quick, easy guide has 5 great starting points that will get you well on the way with a fantastic start to life nurturing the next Jamie Vardy and completing the next Peterborough United story!
Football Manager 2017 Blog
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy