In an effort to sate the cravings of Footy Manager fans, Sports Interactive and Sega have released a fully-featured demo of Football Manager 2011 - 2 weeks before the final game is due to hit stores and Steam.

The demo allows you to play half a season (2010/11), but all the new, and old, functions and features are available to try out. In addition, the team squads are all bang up to date (as per the real-world January transfer deadline, anyway).

New elements to the game include better, chattier interaction with players and staff members, a new way to deal with contract negotiations (through agents), streamlined email and press conference modes, and new on-pitch animations and crowd graphics.

Plus, Pocket-lint has discovered that the entire graphical user interface has been refined to simplify the interaction with the more used functionality, and staff automation has been increased to give you the option of having them control the most mundane tasks from the previous iterations on top of the usual (such as reserve team control).

Certainly, in our brief hands-on with the demo, it zips along nicely, with less stopping for the more boring managerial work.

The demo is currently available in Vanilla and Strawberry flavours for both PC and Mac, with the former version, at 300MB, just offering English as a language and Quick Start gaming options for the leagues in England and Scotland. Those with a faster internet service might consider the Strawberry version which, at 1GB, can be played in a number of different languages, and offers Quick Starts for leagues from England, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Football Manager 2011 comes out on 5 November. Expect fireworks.

The demo version is available to download from

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