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Creating your own pre-season tournament | Wednesday Wisdom

It's fashionable these days to hold a pre or post-season friendly tournament with the who’s who of the footballing world jetting around the globe to compete in a series of exhibition games with the ultimate aim of winning a trophy. @FridayNightFM took a look at pre-season tournaments in Football Manager and how you can best utilise creating one of your own. 

Creating your own pre-season tournament | Wednesday Wisdom

For most, these competitions are commercially driven; teams get to reach new audiences, and with that new partnerships and sponsorship opportunities, all while fans home and abroad get to watch ‘competition’ football outside of the domestic window. In Football Manager 2020, you have the ability to arrange your own friendly tournaments that can provide both the aforementioned bonuses and a bit of fun to your pre-season schedule.

Features and benefits of a Friendly Cup

Financial - For every game, you will see a 'Fee' and 'Income' financial figure, this relates to the fee the opposition club demands from the fixture and the amount the club believe they will receive in income from the game. A higher reputation club is likely to command a greater fee, but they will also bring the crowds in, so select carefully to maximise your earning potential.

Fitness - It wouldn’t be pre-season if you weren’t looking to improve the fitness and conditioning of your players and if you’ve got a small squad, make sure you adjust your training schedule to meet the demands of two games in two days.

Tactical Familiarity – Do you pay much attention to tactical familiarity during pre-season? If not, why not? Pre-season is the perfect time to crack open the tactics creator and get your squad learning your new masterpiece.

Tactical Familiarity – Do you pay much attention to tactical familiarity during pre-season? If not, why not?

Squad Depth – Two games in two days can be tough on the legs but if you have a big squad there is no better time to utilise it. The question is do you field a full-strength team for the first game to ensure you make the final or do you trust the squad players to get you through?

Fun – It's why we play the game, right? A Friendly Cup can be resourceful and good practice but there’s a lot of fun to be had if you put your mind to it; does your club have any historic matches that you can replicate or are there iconic players you want to honour by naming the cup after them? The list is endless if you have the imagination!

How do you arrange a Friendly Cup?

Go to your schedule tab and select ‘Arrange Friendly’. Once you’ve entered this screen you will see a drop-down menu that will give you the option to select a friendly match, a tour or a cup. Once selected you will be prompted to select the dates you want to play this tournament.

FM20 pre-season cup

At this point I would always advise that you check the previous year’s schedule to make sure that you don’t organise this over the opening weekend of your league or that of your opponents. 

Selecting your opponents can be as fun as the games themselves. Personally, I like to build a back story; do the clubs share a sponsor, is it time to repay the club you pinched a top wonderkid from or is it for financial reward? When you select the drop-down menu, you will be recommended clubs based on reputation and location.  

FM20 pre-season schedule

If the club you want is not listed you can select ‘Choose Other’ and manually search for the club and ‘Propose Friendly’.

AFCW profile

Repeat these steps for the remaining opponents and the tournament will start to take shape. You will also see the fee and expected revenue of this tournament which could give a much-needed boost to a lower reputation team. 

Football Manager 2020 schedule

Naming the cup 

The next step is naming the cup. You can be creative, or you can copy an existing format your club uses but in Football Manager 2020, naming a cup comes with a nice new feature. If you use the same name for your pre-season cup year-on-year you will be able to see the past competition history which adds another level or realism to your save universe. 

Watford vs AFCW

FM20 friendly invitations