It’s that time of year when I recruit Assistant Researchers for the new edition of Football Manager.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s needed/expected from you and what’s involved in the process.
What’s Needed In An Assistant Researcher?
To be part of the Scottish Research team, you should fit the following criteria…
1. Regularly Watch The Club You’re Researching
Being a fan of the club you’re researching is the number one priority and it’s essential. There really is no point in emailing me to say “I’m a fan of Club X, but if that’s not available, I could always research Club Y or Club Z as I’ve seen them play once or twice”.
We need fans who have seen these players play week in and week out over the course of the 2015/16 season and have an in-depth knowledge of those players’ strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, we need information that goes beyond the first team. Who’s in the development side? What positions do they play? Which players are highly rated and have the potential to go far?
Ultimately if all you can provide is the basics based on checking out football websites, that’s something we can do ourselves.
2. Basic Knowledge of IT
As a researcher, you have to be able to download Zip or RAR files from an FTP site or Dropbox Link, unpack them into their own folders on your hard drive, open a file using a data editor, edit it using the editor and then email me the file back.
Now it’s May 2016 and you’re probably reading this thinking “Well that’s pretty basic, isn’t it?” but you’d be surprised.
So please, if you really don’t know your arse from your elbow when it comes to using Microsoft Windows on even a basic level, don’t bother applying.
3. A Mature and Objective Outlook To Your Own Team
You’ll be rating the players at your club in direct relation to all the other players/teams in the Scottish league, so there has to be an acceptance – especially in the lower leagues – that your team aren’t Barcelona and your star striker doesn’t have stats comparable to Lionel Messi.
4. A Knowledge of Football Manager
You should be comfortable with Football Manager and how the data is presented in the game.
5. Communication and Deadline Keeping Skills
Though the work we’re asking you to do doesn’t take up much time at all – a few hours here and there from now until September – it’s still important. So you need to be able to reply to emails and – crucially – meet the deadlines that are set.
Every year I’ll get one or two (or ten) researchers applying for research positions who just decide “Sod this, I can’t be bothered to hand in a file” without telling me, leaving us in the lurch at deadline time.
Like I say, it doesn’t take up much of your time at all, but you are taking on the responsibility of ensuring that your team is accurately rated in FM17.
6. The Ability To Use Microsoft Windows
The editors we use only work on Microsoft Windows, so if you have an Apple device, you’ll have to get some form of mirroring software like Boot Camp to allow you to run Windows on it.
What’s Involved In The Process?
If that doesn’t scare you off, here’s what’s actually involved in the process.
1. Rating Players
As you’re familiar with the game, you’ll notice that when you open up a player’s profile there’s loads of information there, from player attributes like how good a tackler he is and how much pace he has, all the way through to contract details and how tall he is.
That’s your job. We need your help getting this information into the game.
2. Providing Club Information
Similarly, you’re responsible for making sure your club has the right kits, up to date and accurate stadium information, a reasonable estimate on financial info like sponsorship income and debt, and accurate information on club records like All Time Top Scorer and highest received transfer fee.
3. Keep Me Up To Date With Player and Staff Transfers
Between now and the release of Football Manager 2017, there will be a load of transfer activity at your club, whether it’s players coming in or moving on, staff changes, or a member of staff moving jobs internally. Again, this is information you need to provide us.
What Do You Get?
All Assistant Researchers get their name in the credits and a free copy of Football Manager 2017 as thanks for taking part.
That is unless you provide really crap info…
But that’s only ever happened once or twice.
What Research Positions Are Currently Vacant?
Right now, we’re looking for researchers for the following clubs…
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Queen of the South
How Do You Apply?
If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what club you’re interested in researching.
If the club you want to research isn’t listed there, it means that club currently has a researcher, so please don’t email me asking if it’s available. If any other research positions for Scotland become available, I’ll advertise them on twitter @sgmilne
Also, I have nothing to do with the research positions at other countries, so please don’t email me to let me know you’d love to do some research for clubs in Burundi or Swaziland.
Oh and one more thing…While I do appreciate that those of you who run teams in local amateur leagues would love to see your team in the game, we really only need information for the SPFL and to a lesser extent, basic stuff for the Highland and Lowland League.