Someone's asked about the youth setup in FML, so this will be the area for discussion today.
I've already outlined the system for getting hold of players, I think, in an earlier post - the same holds true for kids as well. If you want to sign any unattached player, young or old, in FML you do so through a 24 hour wage auction. That means someone bids on the player, and then anyone else has 24 hours to get their bid in. The highest bidder wins the player, paying the acquisition fee and the wage that the second highest bidder offered plus £1.
The only exception to this auction business is when you are setting up your initial squad - at that time you may sign any unattached player on a 1 season deal for their wage demand.
Typically youth players have a wage demand of £200 per (real life) day - the best will have higher demands. To set up and operate a youth squad, you have to sign each player yourself - the regens, newgens or FREDs or whatever they are called these days, the young regenerated players all start with no club. This may sound arduous, but it isn't - in reality, I sign a lot of youth players on 24 hour trial contracts, play them in friendlies, see how they cope and then bid to keep the better ones.
Auctions for most youth players are not contested - however, for the best the auctions can really heat up and drive the final wage offered for the player higher and higher. It's important to remember that there are plenty of players and not to bid more than you can afford!
Anyway, once you've signed a youth squad, what can you do with them? There are always unofficial competitions, obviously, and each federation offers a range of youth competitions. In the DFA that I run, I organise U19 and U21 leagues, and an U21 cup as well, and these prove popular. The U21 league is the main focus, and gets a fair pot of money awarded to it - so this subsidises some of the cost of running a youth setup.
However, youth football in my opinion is about investment in the future, so the user has to pay the lion's share out of their team's daily income - youths are very cheap, so it's not a big issue, and maybe that young MRC could be the next Gerrard after all...
The final query I guess is how do you know then who is a good youth player to sign? The Scouting Skills let you see more players as you learn more of them, but also unlock the 'Judging Potential' skill - this lets you get a vague idea of how good a player could one day become. There are 5 levels to the skill, with each level taking longer to learn than the previous one, but making the accuracy of the prediction slightly better. It's never fully accurate, and the predicted level won't be the same for everyone - leading to a lot of hilarity in the marketplace when you try to convince everyone that the 16 year old central defender with tackling of 4 really does have 5* potential...