Ready to pick up Football Manager 21 and looking for a challenge? May we suggest York9 FC? Major real-life roster turnover has marked a busy Fall for the Nine Stripes, who are looking to rebound from a disappointing Island Games where they narrowly missed the second round.

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Do you think you can better their first-round exit? Here’s a quick guide to playing as Y9 in FM21.

Play defensively​

Another accurate depiction in FM21: York9 is set up to be a defensive side at The Island Games. Early matches have shown success with two banks of four – either a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 – and sitting back on teams while looking for a counter. Midfielders like Joe Di Chiara and Chris Mannella give you the industry required to prevent dicey moments. Pacey strikers Álvaro Rivero and Gabriel Vasconcelos could bring goals simply by getting in behind!

Reinforcements are coming​

Transfers arranged as early as last week are reflected in the CPL’s 2020 database, meaning almost all of York9 FC’s impressive early off-season signings have been reflected in the virtual world. Internationals like Lisandro Cabrera and William Wallace will join the club in 2021, and the same goes for Jordan Wilson, a versatile midfielder/defender who will become your highest-rated domestic player when he arrives – talk about reinforcements! But, this is a double-edged sword, as Manny Aparicio, Joe Di Chiara, and Matthew Arnone are set to depart the club at season’s end, meaning you’ll need to invest in some other players...

Play the prospects​

York9 is an awfully young team with loads of potential in FM21. If you plan on managing the Nine Stripes past The Island Games, perhaps consider giving the likes of Max Ferrari, Lowell Wright, and Julian Altobelli extra developmental playing time in 2020. Those three have in-game potential to be MLS-level players, so a bit of investment in a short season like this could pay off in two or three seasons when they can be sold off for a fee.

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