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YOUTH Development Guide Using Ajax T.I.P.S. Method

An in-depth guide on the steps I take in any save focused on player development. Learn how I use the different teams at the club, training schedules and staff search filters.

By Updated on Nov 10, 2023   19726 views   12 comments
Football Manager Guides - YOUTH Development Guide Using Ajax T.I.P.S. Method
Welcome to JonasMorais' ultimate YOUTH DEVELOPMENT guide using the Ajax T.I.P.S. method.

From the very beginning of my CM/FM journey I have focused on player development and that is the way I play the game. For me seeing players coming through the ranks is just as gratifying as winning trophies.

I have always put a lot of work into creating Training Schedules / Routines and hiring the right staff for all teams at the club.

For this year's game FM24 you can find here at the site my Training Schedules & Staff Search Filters that are tools I will use throughout the whole year in any save I will start.

With that in mind I will explain my first steps when starting any save, how I use the different teams at the club and how I use both training schedules and staff search filters.

First things first.

What is the Ajax TIPS method and how can we implement it in FM?

Ajax demand four fundamental requirements from all the young players at the club, which is known as T.I.P.S.


T - Technique
I - Intelligence / Insight
P - Personality
S - Speed

TECHNIQUE – Technique is the number one requirement for an Ajax player.
All Ajax players must be technically good with the ball.
The Ajax way is to play in the opposition's half of the pitch, this means players playing in tight space, which means that the player must be able to play using good Technique.

INTELLIGENCE / (Football INSIGHT) – Football intelligence is vital for the Ajax style of play.
Ajax players must be able to understand instructions and follow out these instructions.
Ajax players must know what to do with the ball in given situations, such as when to hold on to the ball, and when to release the ball. They must know how to create space and when to move into space.

PERSONALITY – Personality is necessary for a team player.
Players need strength of character and leadership qualities. The club look for personality in players, to see if they are confident, if they can influence other players and most importantly if they can work within a group.
Ajax players must be able to gel with the other players in the team and not be an individual. The Ajax team must be as one.

SPEED – Speed of thought and speed of action is a characteristic of Ajax players.
Ajax players must be able to sum up situations quickly to problem solve on the pitch.
The only running Ajax do in training is 20 - 30 yard sprints, there are no long distance runs. A lot of work is done on the players running technique working on short and long running strides. A lot of training is performed on improving the players acceleration and to make the players more explosive.

Criteria to find players in FM

Scouting and what to look for in a Player

Ajax scouts are told not to look for ‘T.I.P.S’ but instead are looking for ‘S.P.I.T’. The scouts are firstly looking for Speed and Personality over intelligence and technique in the players. The club believe they have the ability to improve the Intelligence and Technique of the players once at the club.

I send my scouts out looking for players aged 15-18 mainly and from the reports I then look at these attributes in particular:
  • Composure
  • Determination
  • Leadership
  • Pace
  • Personality

For players 18-21 include:
  • Technique
  • Decisions
  • Vision

The Start of any Save

At the start of any save and most of the times before anything else I will take control of pretty much every decision at the club especially:
  • Hiring staff for all teams
  • Buy & Sell players to all teams
  • Contract renewal staff and players all teams
  • Training for all teams
  • Individual training all teams
  • All Scouting

Next I will go and create my base tactic and start sorting my teams out with some basic rules in mind:
(I will use SL Benfica as a example for this article)
  • U19s - Players Aged 15 to 17yo - no more than 20/22 players in the team
  • U23s - Players Aged 18 to 20/21yo - no more than 20/22 players in the team
  • B/Reserves - Players aged 18 to 23yo - no more than 20/22 players in the team
  • First Team - no more than 22/24 players

At Ajax each youth team is made up of 16 players. In game I advise the numbers above so the game does not generate players for the teams.

When Ajax youth teams play against other clubs, the players of the opposition will be two years older than the Ajax players. This will give Ajax teams more of a fair match as playing teams of their own age will not be a challenge to the Ajax players.

They will every now and then play opposition with players of the same age of the Ajax players and end up beating them at least 4 or 5 – nil. This is good for player confidence and the reason for the age groups specified above.

There are no additions to the squad during the season and the squad for FM is :
2 - Players per position maximum

There are a few things to have in mind during the season, although these are personal options.
  • I never promote a young player to the next team, based on staff reports, unless they will get regular football.
  • B/Reserve team is for all players that would not have as much playing time as they need if in the First team.
  • I tend not to loan players out so I can control their development myself, if a player gets unhappy I will find a Loan with a Team from a first division that will guarantee “Regular Starter” status. Unless of course they are players I have no interest in keeping at the club and did not managed to move them away permanently.


Training at Ajax is based on the controlling, receiving and transporting of the ball. These are continually used to help younger players to improve their touch and technique (working on individual ball skills).

Physical training is also important with the young players, but ball work is the most an important aspect of training.

Training covers the following areas:
  • Ball Control - Passing, dribbling, moving with the ball etc
  • Duelling - 1v1, attacking and defending, defensive heading etc
  • Power of Combination - Sense for position and working with team-mates etc
  • Athletic Capabilities - Start speed, sprint speed, agility and jumping power
  • Commanding Charisma
  • Creativity
  • Team Spirit

Setting up the Training Schedules

My next step is to set up the Training Schedules for all the teams, I usually set them up 2 months at the time.

Training is an aspect of the game which everyone approaches differently, and I wouldn't say there is a perfect training regime to promote youth development.

For this I use my Training Schedules mentioned above created for attribute growth and improvement, tactic familiarity and team cohesion.

For the Youth teams they are based in the famous Ajax TIPS method, focusing on Technique, Insight, Personality and Speed and, very important, they should be used alongside mentoring that is important especially for the mental and hidden attributes.
Also very important is to pay close attention to Individual training, in my opinion this can make or break a players development.

Lets see how I usually set up the schedules with the different teams rules mentioned above in mind:

First Team
- Pre-Season Schedules starting with Week 1 and 2 with no games & Teamwork
- Main training schedules as soon as the season starts as required by the match load
- Teamwork or Week off during international breaks

B/Reserve Team
- Pre-Season starting with Week 1 and 2 with no games
- Main training schedules as soon as the season starts as required by the match load
- Use any of the Youth schedules if the team is lacking on any aspect
- Teamwork or Week off during international breaks

U23 Team
- Youth Pre-Season
- Youth Technique(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Insight(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Personality(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Speed(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Teamwork(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)

U19 Team
- Youth Pre-Season
- Youth Technique(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Insight(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Personality(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Youth Speed(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)
- Teamwork(use these on a rotating schedule one per each week)

It's worth mentioning that to get the best results set your teams intensity as shown in the image below:


My next step is sorting all the staff at the club for every team.

For this I use the Staff Search Filters mentioned above, selecting the option to show the staff at the club in my search.

I will always try and improve ALL the current staff at the club and try to, when possible, have one coach for each different category using the Assistant Manager and the Manager as well.

When using the filters I increase or decrease the attribute value one by one as a whole until no staff is visible or becomes visible according to the team reputation, selecting B/reserve team. U23 or U19 will help you filter through the interest for those particular teams.

First Team
- Possession, Attacking & Defending 
both Technical and Tactical
- Goalkeeper both Handling & Shot Stopping
- Set Pieces (NEW)
- Fitness coaches both Strength & Quickness

- Technical
- Tactical
- Attacking
- Defending
- Goalkeeper both Handling & Shot Stopping (when possible both if not Shot Stopping)
- Fitness coaches both Strength & Quickness (when possible both if not Quickness)

It is worth mentioning that all of these steps from the start of this post I try to do before my first “continue” with the exception of staff search, although I do try to find and hire as many staff as possible as quickly as possible.

Other things that Influence Player development

Training Facilities are used to train every player within your club. Every player being just that, senior and youth teams. Youth facilities are not used to train youth squads, a common misconception.

Youth facilities impact the development of newgens you are not yet aware of, they do not impact players already visible at your club.

Youth Recruitment impacts the quality of newgens entering your club.

To improve the quality of newgens entering your club improve the youth recruitment, junior coaching and youth facilities. To improve the development of youth already at your club, improve the training facilities.

Targeting right attributes at the right time - Attributes grow at a varying rate through the age groups. Understand the guidelines below and you could dramatically improve your Football Manager Youth Development but bare in mind some players can be outliers and this is a guide not a rule.
  • Physicals generally develop by 24
  • Acceleration, pace and agility develop earliest
  • Strength & jumping reach can develop later
  • Technicals develop at any age.
  • Mentals develop best from mid to later years but could grow early on.

I hope that this article has given you a better insight on how to better develop players and how I use both the training schedules and the staff search filters.

Any questions I will try and answer as promptly as I can and if I deem it worthy I will have it in this post so people can have as much information as possible in the main article.

Good saves.

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Discussion: YOUTH Development Guide Using Ajax T.I.P.S. Method

12 comments have been posted so far.

  • JonasMorais's avatar
    @ig0rf all updated now on both posts...

    bear in mind that I use diffrerent intensity levels for different schedules
  • ig0rf's avatar
    Great content! The intensity of the training is correct in the image here? In the download page, Jonas said the print was the wrong one.
  • rerikk's avatar
    Awesome read and schedules. Big thanks.
    Will there be follow up posts with f ex, player filters etc?
  • sonnench's avatar
    Thanks for clarifying! Haha I look forward to that guide if you ever decide to release.

    I've personally always played with masking off, so usually I find players just through the search...definitely makes it tougher to find players with it on when sorting by attributes etc.
  • JonasMorais's avatar
    @sonnench sorry, no, i have to send my scouts out.
    Ispend a lot of time looking for players myself or targetting players with scouting. For example after the first internationals in october i tend to target the youth teams U21 & U19. But what I actually do to find players and "wonderkids" for Development saves is complex enough to create another guide lol

    What i tend to do with tittle challangers is give myself some save rules and/or be ruthless and sell all players above 23 as quickly as possible.
  • sonnench's avatar
    Sorry for misunderstanding, but do you mean you have attribute masking OFF, so you can always see every player in the game attributes?

    That makes sense! I'm after a long-term save, so I don't mind that. But I will definitely be picking a club that already has really good facilities, just perhaps not a title challenger.
  • JonasMorais's avatar

    I dont use any editors or anything to find players, I always keeps the attribute change visible and constant checking players.

    this method is good but will not do miracles at smaller clubs, youth development saves tend to be with clubs that have great facilities and good staff budgets, to implement this in a small club it will have to be a long save and you will need to improve the club first as a whole and then try and implement this.
  • sonnench's avatar
    And amazing work mate! You've inspired someone to start a save that was at a loss at where to begin before, many thanks! So excited to try this with Ajax, and then implement at a smaller club once I have the hang of it.
  • sonnench's avatar
    I'm keen to implement this in my first save - probably will be Ajax to ease into it. Do you suggest attribute masking on or off following such a method?
  • gpassosbh's avatar
    Great development so far. Thanks for sharing.
  • JonasMorais's avatar
    I havent got much playing time yet but i have quickly simulated my SLB save until December.

    Here are the players I am expecting to make it for sure from all teams.

    Bare in mind that when simulated the assistant manager is not doing what I would do on a game by game bases due to limeted when on holiday options.

    1st Team

    17 yo LB



  • gpassosbh's avatar
    I'll definitely try these schedules and tips you gave. But do you have a few players pictures showing their development? Thanks.
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