The Very Best Free Players In Football Manager 2012

FM 2012 Downloads

written by Johnny Karp

This post contains a downloadable shortlist of the very best free players available in Football Manager 2012, divided into three sections: players for League One and below, players for the Championship and free players for the Premier League. This shortlist has 582 names on it but be advised: some of the players might not exist in your game depending on your database.

Now let me explained the method I’ve used to scout these players: I set up a new game with all the major European nations loaded plus Argentina and Brazil, took over Arsenal and used their extensive scouting apparatus to get accurate reports an almost every worthy free agent in Football Manager 2012. Here are the results:

Best Free Players in FM 2012 for League One and League Two teams

As the title says these free players should be good enough for League One and League Two clubs in Football Manager 2012 but most of them are willing to join Blue Square Premier sides or even Blue Square North/South clubs. You will figure out how these leagues compare to your own if you’re playing in another country but it should be useful nonetheless. There are 374 players included in this section, I’m just going to show four of them here for your curiosity ;)

Yves Ma Kalambay – Goalkeeper – 25 years old (has a Belgian passport)

Yann Calton – defensive midfielder – 22 years old

Anis Ayari – left back – 29 years old

Zoro – centre back – 27 years old

As I said, these players should fit into most League One or League Two sides but they would be quite brilliant in lower leagues than those.

Best Free Players in FM 2012 for Championship teams

There are 163 players in this section, they should do well in most Championship sides but some of them are willing to join clubs in lower leagues. Here are a few interesting names and profiles:

Guislain Guessan – striker – 18 years old

Yves Desmarets – left midfielder – 31 years old

Stephan Loboué – goalkeeper – 29 years old

Ernane – attacking midfielder – 26 years old

Best Free Players in FM 2012 for Premier League teams

This section is a bit thinner, just 45 players, but most of them should be good enough for many Premier League clubs and quite exceptional for Championship sides and below. Here are the most exciting names:

Alex Serrano – striker – 16 years old! (he is probably the only free transfer that would be good enough for a big club, he seems to have good potential. However, you will have to pay 1.25 million in compensation if you sign him)

Richard Kingson – goalkeeper – 33 years old

Arne Friedrich – centre back – 32 years old

James McFadden – left winger – 28 years old

All you have to do is download the shortlists, load them up in your game and then see which of these players would be interested in joining your club. Those who have visited this site on a regular basis know that all our downloads and guides are free but this time I opted for a different approach, mainly because I have caught several other websites stealing several of our posts and downloads this week and putting them up as their own. I know that I can’t stop that but I can make it a bit harder for them, so from now on you will have to pay for the downloads, not with money but with a tweet on Twitter. It’s quite simple, just click the link below and you will be shown what to do.


If you consider that this download procedure is too much trouble then I’m sorry, you will have to show a little support for this website because you all know that we’ve shown plenty of support and kindness for all of you. Now back to the shortlists…

Once you download the file (it’s a zip file) you will have to extract the contents into the Documents>Sports Interactive>Football Manager 2012 folder. After you have done that you will be able to import the three shortlists into your game.

I’ve done my best to find the best free players in FM 2012 here but I’m pretty sure that some good ones might not be included and that is where you come in, please share any good names in the comments section below!

P.S.: If you don’t have and don’t wish to create a Twitter account then you can have access to the download link if you “like” our Facebook Page. If you already are a fan you just have to access the “welcome” tab on our Facebook Page right below the site logo and you will be able to download the file.

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  • Darren Smith

    It really is a shame when people that can’t come up with their own content go and ruin it for others, but if you let them get away with it the site will just suffer so its good to see you taking some action Johnny. Nice list mate, lets just hope that this one stays personal to FMS!! I suggest a name and shame if it carries on.

    • Johnny Karp

      As I said, I guess we can’t stop thieves but I think this is a good way for our real friends to show some support. Anyway, I hope that the list is helpful. Name and shame is not an option for me, I can explain the reasons if needed but I don’t think it’s necessary.

      • Darren Smith

        No, I always respect your opinion Johnny and can imagine the reasons for not wanting a name and shame policy, I guess its just a little frustrating thats all but I guess you can take it as a compliment as well. :)

  • Karstein Røsnes Ersdal

    Thanks for this list! Will be used ;)

    • Johnny Karp

      You’re most welcome, I hope you’ll find some good players for your team in there.

      • Karstein Røsnes Ersdal

        Signed Luigi Bruins for my Vitesse team :)

  • Laxeyman

    Cheers for the list Johnny, hopefully I can find some gems that will really help me by using it! :) Shame about the thieves though :(

    • Johnny Karp

      You’re welcome mate, let me know if you find a few gems for your team.

  • Kevin

    I would most likely not use this list but very nicely done as always for those who are interested. I can’t believe “plagiarism” is happening,I’m quite shocked, though it just goes to show how talented you are and how jealous the “competition” is. What’s next your story, my story…Darrens work?
    Sorry but this sucks and I’m quite upset…..(okay, calming down now)

    • Johnny Karp

      No worries Kevin… The stories are not a target because they don’t drive that much traffic, the tactics, guides and other downloads are.

  • Jack

    It’s such a shame people are stealing your content. Everyone who visits your site knows that it is easily the best fm site around. I will certainly continue to only use this site for the best stuff on fm. Keep up the good work Johnny!

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks Jack.

  • CsAtlantis

    I don’t have a twitter account, think I might make one later, is Andreas Hinkel still a free agent Darren? spotted him in the demo, decent German international right back, 29 years old and would still do okay for midtable to bottom Premier League teams

    • nielsneutron

      It was said it is available on facebook as well.

  • nielsneutron

    It is hard to compete against on the oldest professions. Nice list I might check it out and see how many of those players will join Wales. I might even get bored and do my own list.

    • Johnny Karp

      Looking forward to that list mate :)

  • Marcko

    Hey how do I download this without using twitter? cos i don’t have an account :/ thanks!

    • Johnny Karp

      It is available on our Facebook page as well, just read the last part of the post and you’ll know what to do.

  • Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi Johnny,

    Like Kevin, though i don’t really need this but we are very appreciative of what you have done here. We can’t stop thief online, that’s a shame. Looking at the work you have done, that’s why you are one of the FM authority because you are doing the work for us. Thanks a lot mate.

    • Johnny Karp

      I enjoy this work so there’s no reason to thank me ;)

  • vaibhavc

    Complicated way to download it but ok. It is a shame we can’t stop anyone online, do it yourself lazy idiots!

    • Johnny Karp

      It’s not that complicated mate and I guess it’s not too bad to ask you guys for some support.

  • tom

    Hey Johnny,

    Shame about the thieves…but respect to your creative way of preventing them from doing so…it must take an age to compile these so I can understand your moves to protect your work…

    As for the naming and shaming…I agree with your policy…it would just provoke an unwanted atomsphere, and slightly tarnish your great work in creating and providing a community that is helpful and isn’t filled with people who are negative and spiteful…this is one of the few websites i visit and comment on because of its consistently high level of detail and hard work…

    Keep it up!!!

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks a lot for your kind comment Tom, it’s such reactions that make all this work worthwile and what keeps me going despite every bad thing that happens (hackers, thieves, lack of time, you name it…). Thanks again and I assure you that we’ll keep it up ;)

  • Mikulas Nemeth

    How can I switch to FM12 when my “last” season finished like this: League Cup – runner up, FA Cup – runner up, League – 2nd, CL – Winner…I need a triple at least :) so one more month with FM11 then I’m buying FM12

    • Johnny Karp

      Haha, I believe that it’s called the “please, just one more season” syndrome :)

  • Sears

    Shame on those stealing you’re fine work, what idiots. Why blog if you’re not going to put in all the hard work yourself, makes absolutely no sense.

    Anyway, thanks for this magnificent list of players.

    • Johnny Karp

      You’re most welcome mate.

    • J. (@Jim_Skywalker)

      New to the site and FM12 (haven’t played an FM since 07!) … this is gonna help me in my quest to take Shrewsbury to new heights!!

      • Johnny Karp

        Good luck! You will find plenty of help around here if you need it.

  • yoyo

    why are all the players french!?

    • Johnny Karp

      Don’t quite understand the question, there are a few French players in the list.

  • jonnysnipe

    How do I open these lists?

    I am so confused

    • jonnysnipe

      ive out them in the folder but cant seem to import them

      • Johnny Karp

        If you give me more details about the problem then I might be able to help you.

        • jonnysnipe

          well ive downloaded them (im on a mac) and they saved as .slf folders is that right?

          I go into transfer search, and try and import the list but it doesnt appear for me to select its strange.

          • Johnny Karp

            Yes, these are .slf files. I can’t tell exactly what happens on your computer but it all depends on where you saved them, it should be the same place where you try to load them in your game and that usually is Documents>Sports Interactive>Football Manager 2012>shortlists.

          • jonnysnipe

            they just dont appear when i open the folder “/

            Wish you had done it as a text file cause the ones you listed above are good signings, and got to thank you for that ha

          • Johnny Karp

            Trust me, a text file with over 500 names would be almost unusable. The easiest way is to load the shortlists into your game but I can’t understand which is the folder that you can’t open.

          • jonnysnipe

            I think the issue i am having is I dont know how to open a saved shortlist? I know its a stupid question but last FM i played was 2005

          • Johnny Karp

            You can’t open it and you don’t have to, you just have to import it in the game.

  • MoJo

    Hello Johnny, I am playing as Grimsby Town is Blue Square Premier. I am not able to sign those players above mentioned. I am trying to get rid of some over rated,over paid players with some young talent. Anything for the lowest leagues?

    • Johnny Karp

      Have you loaded the shortlist in your game or just tried the few players shown in the screen shots? My advice is to import the shortlists, you’ll have a much better chance of finding interested players.

  • Nykw_Raizen

    I don’t see the download list. Any help, pls?

    • Johnny Karp

      I think the instructions in the post are pretty clear, I don’t know what I could do to help you. In fact, I’m not sure I understand the question to be honest.

      • jonnysnipe

        think he has same issue as me, can’t see the list, followed the instructions word for word and when I try to import the files dont come up!

        Sure its an awesome list which is annoying cause need the help got promoted now getting owned in league 1 :(

        • Johnny Karp

          OK mate, let’s take it step by step and we’ll get this working. Please tell me if you have the three .slf files and where are they placed in your computer (full path please, if possible).

        • keisukay

          Same issue as jonnysnipe before I guess.

          I realized that, when I go to transfer center – player search, I can’t see the shortlist button, so I push the filter button, and there is import button, which open filter folder but you can search the shortlist file. I opened it, and its not there.

          After searching for a while (which I right clicked the transfer center button up there) a list of shortcut button pop out. There I ticked the shortlist shortcut to be shown. And from the shortlist page, ( not from the transfer center, it was “search” ) there is shortlist button and I’ve tried imported the file and using it.

          And its finally there. Anyway, thanks for the list Johnny mate. It was awesome. Cheers.

          ps: sorry for the long comment :)

          • Johnny Karp

            I’m glad you sorted it out.

  • lewisbaker

    I’m geting the game tomorrow. I will download it strait away.

  • Tim

    what if i dont have twitter or facebook??

    • Johnny Karp

      You can create either a twitter or facebook account if that isn’t too much trouble.

      • Tim

        ok i made a facebook. i appreciate you making the effort sorry to be an arse.

        i have one more question.. when i load up the shortlist i’m assuming i’ll need to have a large database, but to make all the free players on the list viewable do i need to load certain countries and leagues? thankyou for your time

        • Johnny Karp

          You will need a large database, that’s what I recommend, but for countries I suggest loading just the ones that you want to play because you won’t have all the players unless you load all the leagues and that might make the game unusable.

  • SID

    I have saved the 3 slf files in the SI>filters folder but when i go to import them I cannot find any of the 3 files and instead find a list of my own custom shortlists saved in a different file type (pft file type). Any advice?

    • Johnny Karp

      Filters and shortlists are two different things, if you would have read the post you would have noticed that the shortlist files go into the “shortlists” folder and can be imported into the game as shortlists and not as filters.

      • SID

        Maybe people steal your content and post it elsewhere because you are rude and don’t know how to talk to people who have a problem and ask you for help. I got it working and it’s great but I won’t be visiting again.

        • Johnny Karp

          I always try to help people but you just have to cooperate if you want help. So I guess the one being rude here is you, please don’t come back.

          P.S.: Content gets stolen because it’s good ;)

  • David Kesson

    great list

  • begbie21

    I sign Mcfadden for west ham in the championship. Still play him now in the premiership but he never seems to stand out (rating around 7). The fans have high opinions of him though, good for a free i guess.

  • begbie21

    *also Jordan Spence for west ham is awesome, well worth buying for another club.

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks for the tips.

  • michael mcclelland

    hey there i downloaded the file and extracted it but i seem to be having a problem it is prob something stupid knowing me :P, but anyway i have saved the files in the football manager 2012 shortlist folder, but when i go into the player search and try to import it but nothing is coming up for me just wondering do you know where i went wrong

  • Manuel Lomba

    Cheers for making the search easier. For some reason everytime i try to look for FM tips i always end up in this Site keep up the good work lads!!
    Regards from Portugal

    • Johnny Karp

      Cheers Manuel, I guess we do have some of the best FM stuff out there ;)

  • Ben Waller

    Hi tried to download the list and did the pay with a tweet and facebook message however it still wouldnt let me download.

    Clicked the download now, and it just popped up with a box, which instantly dissapeared.

    Bit disappointed with that pal, so obviously removed my posts etc.

    Keep up the good work however!

    • Johnny Karp

      Ben, I have just tested the download and it works just fine. So I’m not sure what the problem was on your end but I can assure you that the download does work.

  • Ben

    Hello mate,

    Really really good list and some interesting choices based on the examples I can see… quick question for you though, is there anyway you can copy the list into a word/pdf or some other doc I can read without using FM? The reason I ask is I use stuff like this a lot for when I play FIFA12 on PS3 to keep my own transfer market as up to date as possible. Any help would be appreciated.


    • Darren Smith

      You can easily do that yourself by downloading the list and then printing the the in game shortlist to what ever format you want. That is all Johnny would do.

  • Ben

    I don’t have the game

    • Darren Smith

      Sorry this list is to be used in game only, it would have no relevance in any other game as I play the likes of Fifa and the players are nothing a like in their ability. You want to be finding a fansite for the game you play.

      • Ben

        Depends how you use FIFA… the relevance for me is finding out which players are currently unattached from clubs… i don’t care about the ratings as you’re right they have absolutely no relevance whatsoever, I just wanted the names of the players so I can add them to my game

        • Darren Smith

          This download is available as a download only, not a list and must only used in game as that is how it was created, in the game. Basically this will load in game and then can be printed out from there so to make a list which would be manually written for one person wouldn’t be fair as we’d manually rewrite the thing out which won’t happen I’m afraid.

          • Ben

            It’s alright. I’ll download/rent a copy of the game and get the list that way. Cheers though

  • Ben

    TBF Darren I don’t really care about the ratings. The only thing I desire that list for is that it will have a number of free agents I can create and add to my own game. I have a very good site for getting FIFA ratings anyway but what I lack is the knowledge of all the free agents you have mentioned in this list which is why I requested a copy for my own exclusive use to add to my game on the PS3. I would really appreciate your help

  • Ben

    Ok have finally seen your lists… congrats on busting your ass off doing these man, they’re really good

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks, I’m happy that you find them useful.

  • Bence Répási

    Hello Johnny!
    I’ve recently found this list and i have to say, for my Győri ETO save (hungarian “Super Club”:D ) they are the very best players available. Thanks for this helpful list.

    • Johnny Karp

      That’s good to hear, I’m always happy when somebody finds my work useful.

  • E

    Soo, I tweet and then get the error message “Page not found” when i try the link…

    • Johnny Karp

      I have checked and there seems to be a problem indeed: the file is missing from our server. We had some problems with the host lately and I am trying to find that file and put it back up. Thanks for your patience, I’m really sorry about this.

      • E

        No worries, nice with the quick response!

  • pedro roriz

    hey mates,

    just adding on to the list, although my focus is on italian football leagues, I’d try carlos diogo (right back winger) as a good free agent. he can come up as a good solution for replacement for the big teams in the league, or even as a great first choice for the medium/small sized clubs.

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks for the info.

      • pedro roriz

        glad i could help

  • Dan Pritchard

    I downloaded and imported the shortlists for Championship & Premiership but some of the players you’ve mentioned in the article and there are screenshots for don’t appear. When importing them I only got 16 players in my shortlist, could this be due to the leagues I am playing/have available?

    • Johnny Karp

      Yes, that is due to the database and leagues that you have available in your game.


    Excited to finally see all the players in your shortlists. Only just read about half an hour ago I could download through facebook, so did so, and then I hadn’t quite read all your instructions initially so was trying to load from the still zipped version!!!! Then reread your instructions and got it working.

    • Johnny Karp

      Haha, always read the instructions first :P

  • Adam

    i Have made a big list of all the best free player i can find:

    Herita Ilunga ‘LB’
    Aboubaka Fofana ‘VW’
    David Fernandez ‘AM’
    Adam Street ‘GK’
    Maurice Ross ‘RB’
    Thomas Cruise ‘LB’
    Flavio Paixao ‘AM’
    Lawrence Aidoo ‘STR’
    Fouzi El Brazi ‘RW’
    Ahmed Soukouna ‘STR’
    Rahim ‘CB’
    Mikkel Bischoff ‘CB’
    Erik Addo ‘CB’
    Michael Stewart ‘MC’
    Sebastian Svärd ‘DM’
    Junior Agogo ‘STR’
    Lee Molyneux ‘LB’
    Matt Thornhill ‘MC’
    Derek Riordan ‘STR’
    Rui Marquez ‘CB’
    Thomas Cruise ‘LB’
    Juan Luis Redondo ‘RB’
    Raul Navas ‘GK’
    Alejandro Maranon ‘LB’
    Youssouf Hersi ‘AM’
    Mourad Hdiouad ‘DM’
    Yves Ma Kalambay ‘GK’
    Yann Calton ‘DM’
    Anis Ayari ‘LB’
    Zoro ‘CB’
    Guislain Guessan ‘STR’
    Yves Desmarets ‘LW’
    Stephan Loboué ‘GK’
    Ernana ‘AM’
    James McFadden ‘LW’

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks for sharing the list.

    • pedro roriz

      ual! that’s great adam! thanks

    • jason vance

      would any off them players join a league 2 team???

      • Johnny Karp

        Some of those included in the list for League 1 and League 2 teams surely would.

  • Ed

    Just like to say, really appreciate the hard work. I know its just a game, but this has made it so much more enjoyable, so thank you. (If anyone’s struggling, look at the last bit of 17, it helped me). :D

    • Johnny Karp

      Thanks mate, I’m glad that we could help you.

  • Paul Wilson

    I have tried to find Jamil Adam, as he is meant to be a goal scoring machine, and i lack quality upfront, can you help me at all? im pretty sure i launched the right database??

    • Johnny Karp

      I don’t know which would be the right database but if the player is in there you should be able to find him. Sorry but I don’t know how to help you.

      • Paul Wilson

        I am in my third season so he probably isn’t available anyway ha! i havnt looked at the list yet, but could u suggest a good striker for league two (fleetwood town) for loan or buy for now?

        • Johnny Karp

          Check the list mate, I don’t remember the players in there since I didn’t really need them for my current save.

  • charlie smithson

    just downloaded the short list, when it comes to import the file is not in the downloads folder although that’s where it is saved, can you help please

    • Johnny Karp

      As mentioned in the post: “Once you download the file (it’s a zip file) you will have to extract the contents into the Documents>Sports Interactive>Football Manager 2012 folder. After you have done that you will be able to import the three shortlists into your game.”