Du Malone writes: I like to use nicknames when I’m playing FM.

I started doing so simply to disambiguate (as Wikipedia has taught us all to say) surnames.

Which Ivanov is that? The left back or the striker? And which Iliev, which Hristov? Before using nicknames I did occasionally start players in very unaccustomed positions, my mistake.

So I started calling them things like Iliev LB or Iliev DM. It’s important to put the label after the surname, not before, so that the player’s position in the alphabetical list.

Once I started using nicknames, I realised they’d be useful for staff too. I can’t always remember which coach is good at what and the little labels that FM gives them (‘Todorov (attacking)’) often fail to the way I deploy my coaches.

So if Mr Petkov is my attacking coach, I’ll call him ‘Petkov Att’.

I then realised that I could get some other information in too. For example, ‘Ileiv DM p’ tells me not only that Iliev plays defensive midfield, but also that he takes penalties. ‘Petkov Att mot’ denotes a good motivator, someone who might be suitable for pep talks.

You can go the whole hog and remove the surname entirely. This enables you to get more information in. For example ‘LB rf det cor’ = left back, right-footed, determined corner taker.

But, though useful, I don’t like doing that, since it dehumanises the player and so detracts from the imaginative side of the game.

I did, however, resort to this method for a couple in seasons in South Korea: I’m unfamiliar with Korean names and, try as I might, kept confusing them.

Not ideal though.

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