Improve your FM24 wonderkids with Mentoring

There are few things more satisfying in Football Manager than developing a wonderkid into the next big superstar. 

Something that can have a massive impact on a player's development is pairing them up with more experienced players in Mentoring groups. 

Here, OnTheBreakFM uses Yokohama F. Marinos to take a deep dive into the Mentoring process in FM24, from reviewing the best candidates to putting the most effective groups together.

Improve your FM24 wonderkids with Mentoring


Mentoring is a process that involves putting one or more young players in a group with a more experienced player. 

The senior player will act as a mentor to the younger players off the pitch, helping them to develop their skills, traits, and personalities in ways that straightforward training might not. 

These groups are typically no bigger than three or four players and are usually most effective with prospects that have played fewer than 100 professional matches. 


The first step when creating mentoring groups is to assess your squad to identify senior players who can positively influence the youngsters who need to be mentored. I like to call these players 'figureheads' but, essentially, they're just the most senior players per mentoring group. 

There are a few considerations to be made when finding your squad's figureheads, such as:

●     Their position in the Team Hierarchy
●     Their Personality
●     Their Age/Experience
●     Their Determination Attribute


A squad's hierarchy is an indication of each player's status amongst their peers. Generally, older, more experienced, and longer-serving players rise to the more senior roles of Team Leaders or Highly Influential Players. This makes the top of the hierarchy the prime place to look for figureheads. 

It's not always as black and white as it may seem, though. The team hierarchy is based on a few criteria, such as age, ability, and playing time, but situations may arise where good candidates to mentor may be slightly lower in the hierarchy. For example, an older player who has picked up a long-term injury and has not played for a long time may be struggling to get back into the team, but their knowledge and experience will not have left them and they could still be a suitable figurehead.

A player's personality is also a factor in whether they will make an effective figurehead, as young players can potentially change their personality based on who they spend their time around. The ideal scenario is that a senior player has one of the most desirable personalities and it rubs off on their mentees.

Age and experience go hand in hand regarding a player’s impact on a mentoring group, so a younger player with more career appearances may have a higher impact than an older player who has been a long-term backup.

An important individual Attribute to consider is Determination. As a younger player’s Determination can increase or decrease based on the players around them, it makes sense to use figureheads that are only going to help. 

Putting it into practice with Yokohama F. Marinos

Taking these factors into account and having a look at the Yokohama F. Marinos squad, it’s clear to see that there are two stand-out figureheads.

Evaluating possible mentors
Name Age Hierarchy Determination Personality
Takuya Kida 28 Team Leader 15 Fairly Determined
Kota Mizunuma 32 Highly Influential Player 2 Balanced
Elber 30 Highly Influential Player 13 Balanced
Nam Tae-Hee 31 Highly Influential Player 13 Fairly Professional
Ryuta Koike 27 Highly Influential Player 14 Fairly Professional
Shinnosuke Hatanaka 27 Highly Influential Player 11 Balanced
Ken Matsubara 29 Influential Player 15 Fairly Determined
Kenta Inoue 24 Influential Player 15 Fairly Determined
Yuki Saneto 33 Influential Player 14 Balanced


Ken Matsubara and Takuya Kida are both senior players, in their prime age-wise (29 and 28 respectively) and have both been at the club for many years. 

As Yokohama F. Marinos have several young players that we can help develop with mentoring, diving deeper into the squad reveals Ryuta Koike and Nam Tae-Hee to be effective figureheads. 

Koike is a Highly Influential Player, he has a couple of caps for his national team and possesses a good Determination Attribute. Most importantly, he has a Fairly Professional personality which is one of the strongest in the squad. 

South Korean international Tae-Hee, is very similar given his national team caps and Personality type. He’s also possesses three useful Traits that it’ll be good for our younger talents to pick up – Plays One-Twos, Looks For Pass Rather than Attempting to Score, and Runs with Ball Often. 


The range of young players who would benefit from mentoring is generally far broader than the range of suitable mentors, so this section is far more subjective and down to the players you have the most faith in to reach their potential. There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however. 

Players can only be added to the same mentoring group if they are in the same squad. So, for example, a 16-year-old wonderkid ripping it up in the Under-18s cannot be mentored by the club captain unless they are promoted to the senior squad. 

Also, there may be situations where mentoring a young player can be a hindrance rather than a help. If a young player already has a desirable personality and high Determination, being mentored by a player who lacks these could actually see them drop - the exact opposite of what we’re looking to do.

Evaluating Mentees
Name Age Hierarchy Determination Personality
Keigo Sakakibara 22 Other Players 4 Fairly Professional
Asahi Uenaka 21 Other Players 9 Balanced
Riku Yamane 19 Other Players Balanced
Yuhi Murakami 22 Other Players 7 Balanced
Kaini Yoshio 24 Other Players 5 Balanced
Hijiri Kato 21 Other Players 12 Balanced


The players listed above are the players at Yokohama F. Marinos that I’ve identified as being most likely to benefit from mentoring, although as discussed above some already have strong Determination, which needs to be considered. 


Now we have a list of figureheads and a list of mentees, the only step left is to create suitable groups. 

As noted, Mentoring groups must have a minimum of three players per group. We could just create one large group with everybody involved, but there are reasons why this isn’t advisable. 

While it isn’t required for a player to be mentored by somebody who plays in the same position as them, this can have relevance. A Winger can be asked to mentor a young central defender and still have a positive impact, for example. What can be affected by this are Player Traits – a Winger passing Traits on to a Central Defender that doesn’t have the skillset to accomplish them will lead to them constantly playing themselves into danger. 

With those considerations borne in mind, I constructed the following three mentoring groups with my Yokohama F. Marinos team in FM24. 


As you can see, each mentee is in a group with a figurehead that has at least equal Determination - if not higher. The players are loosely grouped by position.


It can take a little while to see these Mentoring groups bear fruit, but you will receive monthly updates from your backroom team explaining how your young players have developed over time. 

These monthly reports are a great opportunity to assess how things are working – mentoring is an ongoing process that requires monitoring and tweaking. However, in one season with Yokohama F. Marinos, we’ve started to see some changes.

From our six mentees, we saw a rise in the Determination Attribute of four of them:

Kaini Yoshio - 5 > 6
Asahi Uenaka - 9 > 12
Yuhi Murakami - 7 > 8
Riku Yamane - 8 > 9

Asahi Uenaka

The two who didn’t increase were Hijiri Kato who already had a decent level of determination at 12, and Keigo Sakakibara who only played 12 minutes of football during the season as a result of some serious injuries. 

As well as this, we saw some changes in the social groups that some players are a part of. Riku Yamane moved from the Core Social Group to the Secondary as a result of being grouped with players from the Secondary Group. Interestingly the other changes were actually of figureheads, where Kenta Inoue and Nam Tae-Hee both joined the Core Social Group where their mentees already were. 

The last thing to note is that it’s important to be proactive with mentoring groups and pay attention to when a player is no longer getting any benefit. 

For example, despite it improving his Determination Attribute slightly, by the end of the season Kaina Yoshio had an estimated effect from mentoring of none. Having turned 25 as the season progressed suggests that leaving him in a mentoring group would be pointless and that he should be replaced by another player. 

As your youngsters become more embedded in the team and play more games, you can evolve your mentoring groups to ensure that there’s a constant development pathway off the pitch to get the very best out of your squad season after season.


This guide to Mentoring should have given you a template to start moving things in the right direction in your FM24 saves. Remember though, you can take a variety of different approaches - and that’s the joy of FM. 

Happy managing, 



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