For a while now the media has heralded an upcoming generation of young Irish talent. One way to think about what the future will hold is to look toward the video game data that offers ‘potential’ ratings. These estimates are made by popular video games such as EA’s FIFA and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager. They may be able to offer some insight on how a player is developing.
Below is data for the next generation of Irish talent from the FIFA video game. These players are now typically aged between 19 and 22. The ratings are out of 100 and represent what the game publishers see as a players potential ability (maybe as they get toward their late 20's). These 'potentials' are composites from the start of each game and derive from a range of underlying talents.
Just looking at the last 3 seasons where we have more data, it seems that average potential of our next cohort is declining (79 to 78.25 to 77.93). These players are still all expected to competent footballers in the future. What is maybe worrying is the declining potential for attacking players.