Moving Forward


As promised,my opinion on requirements for the attack and midfield for the coming season. I’ll start with the midfield for the sake of continuity. 

As it stands,we still haven’t completed the signing of Bernardo. I’m going to work on the assumption that the deal will be done,and that he is our player. That means that we will have four top players available for the three places. Those of us who think we should have four in midfield for the likes of Europe are likely to be disappointed. Of the four,Bernardo is the most likely to be omitted,but that is only when those other three are fit and available. As we saw too often last season,that is not always the case. 

Additionally,there are constant suggestions that Reo or Matt are likely to leave during the summer. Both are tied down to new long-term contracts but we all know that when an offer is acceptable to all parties,contracts are worthless. I genuinely think that O’Riley will think about his massive improvement since he joined in January 2022 and especially on the difference that BR has made to his game. For that reason,allied to his disappointment about being left out of the Denmark squad,I think he will only consider out of this world offers to move at the moment. 

That is unlikely,though we saw last season what can happen when Jota departed. That hasn’t worked out for him-yet-but he will only be 27yo when that contract ends,and he will be £30m richer. An offer of that magnitude is unlikely for Matt,and anyway,I think he is a player who is focused on the medium to long term,rather than the fast buck.

Reo is a different matter though. I doubt his heart is still in it at Celtic Park. And after last season’s constant injuries,I think a move will be welcomed by the club too-provided the money is right. That leaves us short of proven cover,and last summer’s influx of kids cannot be relied upon. For starters,none of them is the big hard scary monster destroyer that we have been desperately crying out for this last decade. 

A man constantly linked with us for that role is Ghanaian international Daniel Amartey. Familiar to and with our manager from their time at Leicester,he fits the bill. And since the bill for this 53-times capped piece of solid teak is only around £3m from Fenerbahce,it looks like a no-brainer. He wasn’t the first pick for that position at Leicester,btw-but since it was Wilfred Ndidi keeping him out,that is understandable. 

Signing Amartey solves two problems at once. The obvious one being the role that he plays,the other being that it allows CalMac to move into a more creative,forward position,the one in which he very much looks more comfortable. The position vacated by Reo,in fact. He can also play as a No 8 when required-for instance,when O’Riley is injured. 

With the signing of Amartey and Bernardo and the sale of Reo,we will have a core midfield of Amartey,O’Riley and CalMac. The main back-up will be Bernardo and Iwata. Of last summer’s signings,the only midfield option that I still hold out hope for is Holm. Add him to the mix plus Daniel Kelly and maybe Bosun Lawal,and I think we have a more balanced squad in that area as well as a more balanced first three on the team sheet. Since this has been achieved for an overall profit of c£15m,that leaves us more wiggle room for the new goalies,left back and our forward line. Which is next.

Quick question for you all. Given an infinite number of wingers and an infinite number of opportunities,why are all of our signings there in the last two seasons such utter dross? Some have been utterly dreadful,while others have shown flashes of ability. Just enough for us to think that we might have a player,and then they revert to type and we all shake our heads. Maeda is by a distance our best wide player,but he is not a genuine winger. For starters,any time he puts in a cross with any height on it,it is the last we see of it till it comes down with snow on it. And James Forrest,even at 32yo,is a clear best of the rest. 

Kuhn has shown ability,as I said. But he cannot cover back without pulling a jersey or mistiming a challenge. Either way,it’s a booking and a free kick in a dangerous area. Palma has an inflated opinion of himself,a view shared only by his doting mother. Terrific footwork but with little pace and even less game intelligence. Both will have to up their game considerably to feature,and even then,Jamesie has first dibs before them. Yang has more speed and ability than either of them,but he too needs serious coaching to make an impact. The jury is still out on the much-vaunted Rocco Vata,and while he might be chastened by his lack of suitors,he won’t be lacking in confidence. To date,we have seen little to back it up. 

I think we need a new presence who can play wide right,track back AND score goals. Someone like Abada,as an example! I don’t think the current bunch can hack it,and that means that we either sign yet another bliddy winger,or go with what we have. A wing and a prayer,indeed. 

And then there is the thorniest question of all,and I’ve saved it for last. Our central striker. The current incumbent,and for three seasons now,is Kyogo. Even though he had a disappointing last season,he is still head,shoulders and waist above our other current options. In actual fact,our only current option is Oh,and he is apparently the subject of a £4m bid from Genk. (I know-bite the hand off them!) BR will hopefully be aiming to play to Kyogo’s strengths,which is either to get on the end of a low cross deep into the box,or a defence splitting pass for him to use his pace. Those are the two examples of getting the maximum from his talent. The back-up for him has primarily been G-Mak and Idah. The former may be a much lamented miss,but he is long gone. Adam Idah is a recent memory,and an acquaintanceship which most of us would be happy to see renewed.

The big fella confounded the critics in some style in his few months with us,and I have to be honest and say that his signing didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. His only plus,as far as I could make out,is that he was the only option that BR considered remotely suitable from the threadbare list provided by wage thief Lawwell,Jr. Hands up,I was wrong! It wasn’t long before my only complaint about him was that we hadn’t demanded an option to buy him in the summer at a set price. Had we done so,I think it would have been agreed at around £3m,and even that looked overpriced based on his achievements at Norwich. They are now looking at as much as £8m for him,and his success with us and with Ireland has only made other clubs aware of him. I loathe the term bidding war-though not as much as our former CEO-but if the manager wants him,it looks as though we will have to put our money where our mouth is. 

What the club should be looking at here is a number of factors. Firstly,he is clearly a specific signing target for the manager. He likes what he has seen and wants him signed permanently. We know he won’t have any problem settling in,as he certainly hit the ground running when he arrived at the end of January. He is a completely different player to Kyogo and that means we have options to mix it up intra-game,even to the extent of a rare foray into two strikers. And then there is the cost. Let’s assume that the lowest we can knock Norwich down to is £6m. Even that’s a lot of cash for someone who has never been part of their plans down there,and seemed to be going nowhere at the turn of the year. Celtic then have to consider whether the player is worth that. 

Well,I reckon they need to look at that cost from another angle. £6m for a guy who is only worth that based on four months on loan with us looks like bad business,but it isn’t. His value was minimal while with Norwich for the simple reason that he wasn’t getting game time,his managers didn’t rate him. That they are the biggest winners from that loan spell is something we will just have to swallow. And besides,this is not an £6m transfer at all. We need to buy another striker regardless,even if Oh decides to stay. How much would that cost,and do we know that he will be a fit at the club? 

We know the big fella WILL be a fit. Seen it with our own eyes. And anyone even approaching that quality is unlikely to arrive at a lower cost. Plus,there is the £4m for Oh if Genk get their way,and frankly I’d written his value off as zilch,based on what we saw last season. The cost then is minimal,even the wage bill won’t be affected that much if Oh departs,or even if he doesn’t. Idah knows the wage structure and his demands will be realistic. 

Personally,I would like us to sign two strikers,and I’ll even allow for one to be more along the lines of a project. I am not happy at the thought of signing another winger,we will have to work with what we have and hope that proper coaching can knock them into shape. The sale of Reo (or heaven forbid,Matt) leaves our notoriously parsimonious board no excuse not to sanction some decent signings,even if we ignore the legendary pot of gold so closely guarded by our custodians. The above signings should cost us around half of the income from a Reo sale. Plus we will have the income from any deadwood that we get rid of-on top of a likely £6m from the sale of Michael Johnston! ( How many of us thought that possible at Christmas?) We will need more than that to shore up the deficiencies in the back line,which amount to two goalkeepers and a left back before we even consider matters elsewhere. 

Two goalies,a left back,Bernardo and Amartey in midfield plus Idah and possibly a project striker. Seven players,four of whom are unidentified as yet. The Rumour Mill has a long way to go before the window closes. But I’m confident of one thing at least. The signings this summer will be an upgrade on those we brought in a year ago. 

Above article by BMCUWP

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June 15, 2024 12:06 am

The Sentinel Celts Charity Drive has nominated Blood Cancer UK as the recipient for funds for the six months to 31/07/2024,and we are getting close to achieving our LATEST TARGET.
We have set up a GoFundMe page for those who have some spare cash to donate,even from a lucky windfall or finding a tenner in the street.
Click on the link for more details,including how to donate.

Please give generously to a very deserving cause. Although our first targets have now been achieved-and many thanks for your generosity!-we can always hope to do more.

June 15, 2024 12:06 am


You can read our article on a resolution for improving refereeing standards here.
Join the growing numbers of our readers who have had enough of referees In hun scarves.

June 15, 2024 12:08 am

There will be a Naps competition running next week for the duration of Royal Ascot. Click on the link for details. All welcome.

June 15, 2024 12:09 am
Mike in Toronto
June 15, 2024 12:18 am


I get that only a few are still in the SPL, but of the rest, arguably 2 (Robertson and McGinn) are regulars in good teams (maybe, McTominay). And, those three are great pros, and hard workers …. But neither is the kind of player a modern team, which requires speed of thought, can be based around.

If i were coach, the mid would be based around Ferguson and Gilmour. Only seen bits of both, but what I have seen, I think they think and play nice football. Ferguson has clearly been improved by going to Italy. Nd he is only going to get better.

The rest will take time, but there are a few promising youngsters that are showing, so there is cause for hope. But it is going to take more players going abroad and learning their craft. Tht isnt going to happen in Scotland.

June 15, 2024 12:42 am

An utter embarrassment of a performance that was painful to watch 🙈 Clarke clearly doesn’t have a clue how to manage a team at this level

June 15, 2024 12:46 am

If the tartan army are still happy after that absolute debacle they are part of the problem 🤔

June 15, 2024 12:49 am

June 15, 2024 12:50 am

That 5-1 defeat was as bad as a 1-0 defeat…we were always going to lose that game….and that was in the players minds before kick off.
its the next two games that count. I think the interaction between Clarke n McPhee was the fact our top scoring 6’ 3” player was hitting a free kick into our shitty 6’ 1” centre forward against 3 x 6’ 4” centre backs…I

June 15, 2024 12:56 am

If we’re gonna pass the ball over the heads of our most creative players we’ve no chance at all.
Thought Callum was crap anyway as was McGinn
Thought Tony done as best as he could and McTominey at least put himself around
Gunn responsible for three of their goals…a shit night but we can still do it…then put the Germans to the sword later…

June 15, 2024 1:03 am

Our complete lack of aggression and intensity was woeful and standing of players like Kroos and Gundagon was suicidal 😱

June 15, 2024 1:10 am

The tartan army can stick their no Scotland no party nonsense where the sun don’t shine 🙈 We were humiliated tonight !

Last edited 28 days ago by Gordon64
June 15, 2024 1:22 am

Way too many ‘celebrities’ and non footballing folk out in Germany supporting Scotland ! I’d like to know how many of these ars#hole go to watch SPFL games 🤔

June 15, 2024 1:28 am

This was a lifetime ago in Seville 😎

June 15, 2024 2:44 am

It was good while it lasted. The partying in Germany…the friendly Scots, decked out in traditional dress. And oh, the pipes!! You really have to have left Scotland, to feel the full power of their lilt!

Reality bit, as was always going to be the case. Sweat and commitment is not enough when a second division team meets a premier league competitor. The dreamed upset was blown away within 10 minutes in the German night.

we are what we are…..a marginally competitive team and have been so for decades. A once proud football nation that is now, at best, a third tier international competitor.

If there is to be any value in this latest humiliation, Yes, that is what it was, then it should be that change is urgently needed. However, will a moribund FA see this? Unlikely. Sadly, it will be business as usual when this competition is over. Is being cute in a kilt enough for Scottish football fans? If so, we have the football administration that we deserve.

So sad. So sad.


Margaret McGill
June 15, 2024 4:53 am

Tartan Army in Europe feeling like Tims in Europe methinks
Is that the craic over?

Last edited 28 days ago by Margaret McGill
Margaret McGill
June 15, 2024 5:20 am

I see Celtic stocks will remain high this summer due to strong production in the rumour mill

Hoop hoop hooray
June 15, 2024 8:30 am

There is not a chance in hell Matt will be our player when the season restarts. He has won everything he can with us. Players who do that in a 3 years cycle tend to want to try pastures new. He won’t be short of offers.
Kyogo recently rubbished a return to Japan stating he wanted to stay in Europe. He didn’t say Celtic. I think if an opportunity arose for him he might be tempted too.
I don’t think Reo is a Rodger’s player. He is not suited to a possession based low risk game. Ironically of all our ‘top’ players, I think he is the one least likely to attract offers from top leagues due to the weaker parts of his game. Rodger’s persevered with him after his injury without any real payback.
He rates Bernardo I think. Played him a lot in the CL where his stats at cutting out space and ball recovery was very good. The kind of safe player he wants at that level. Be interesting to see if lawal’s rave reviews last season are justified. I can see a midfield selection next season of a slowly aging Carnac, Bernardo Iwata Lawal and Hatate with Reo being used as an impact sub, unless we sign someone else.

Jobo Baldie
June 15, 2024 8:33 am

Good morning, friends.
Back to last nights debacle and, for me, the score at 90 minutes was almost acceptable. The further loss late in injury time was probably what moved a poor result I to the ‘hammering’ category. Just as well I shelved my brief thought of doing a mini MOTM thing for the Scotland games!
More generally, Scotlands chances was always going to about our other 2 games. Assuming Germany manage 3 wins, we are in a mini group with Switzerland and Hungary where 4 points would secure progression. I remain cautiously optimistic that I’ll be watching a last 16 game featuring Scotland.

June 15, 2024 8:39 am

Let the inquest begin?
Clarke failed with his old and successful Killie v BR’s Celtic set up.
His inability to see that Germany’s possession and attack space at pace system was completely different from BR’s slow side to side possession system led to that humiliation..
In fairness though the Germans were tactically and technically better than their Scottish counterparts.
Having a poor goalie did no favours to Scotland.
Ralston an honest trier but defensively poor especially in a positional role.
Porteous could have been a player but years of girrintaethem coaching have not tempered his aggression were it would be an asset .
Robertson and Tierney tried hard in an unworkable position.
Cannae even remember who the other centre back was.?
McGinn disappeared,
McTominay tried.
McGregor is not a midfielder who can defend.
Christie ran around like a dug searching for a ball lost in the park.
Adams attempted to stir Scottish pride by impersonating the Standing Stones of Callanish.
Clarke proved how much of a fearful old fashioned coach he is.
Also while clowns like McMoist and Sourness always look to blame a Celt/fenian the critic of McGregor was correct.
Roy Keane was most scathing and he is definitely no hun.;

Last edited 27 days ago by Fan
Hoop hoop hooray
June 15, 2024 9:06 am

No shots at all. Not a single, one on or off target or even blocked. No corners. Not even an offside.
I think we were only in their penalty area twice. 
Yet my bet on Germany to win to nil is a loser.

Steve Clarke at after match press conference asked about having no shots at all. 
“I don’t pay any attention to stats immediately after a game but I heard the German Xg was less than 2 so they were clinical” 

June 15, 2024 9:08 am


Must admit I gave up at half time last night. Down to 10 and three goals down I feared double figures so 5-1 is better than I expected. Aĺl the chest beating and all that stuff counts for nothing if, as soon as the whistle goes it’s a rerun of Spinks versus Tyson with Scotland as the former.

Having a hopeless goalie did not help and I never liked Porteous or Hendry anyway. Anthony Ralston was far from the worst though that is not saying much. Apart from Tierney all of the supposedly good players were disastrously bad.

A year or so ago things looked promising for Scotland but we do not seem to be even as far advanced as square one now. Which is actually quite sad.

As I get older I find I look forward to these football fests less and less and when I meet up this afternoinwith the surviving brothers of Stephen Reynolds -whom some of you might remember from CQN days- I won’t mind if I can’t see the television


St tams
June 15, 2024 9:26 am

Lying on the beach in Crete just now.
Have we signed anyone yet?

ernie lynch
June 15, 2024 9:32 am

Lesson 1 from last night’s game.

A decent goalkeeper is essential.

Granny Macs Bhoy
June 15, 2024 9:33 am

Fan very good sum up and your views on Christie and Adams hilarious. Gave me a good laugh.

“Christie ran around like a dug searching for a ball lost in the park.
Adams attempted to stir Scottish pride by impersonating the Standing Stones of Callanish”

June 15, 2024 10:06 am

Good lead mick . Totally agree on most of it . Top priority for me is a tough as teak midfielder , followed by a couple of huge defenders in the Paul Elliot / Mark Rieper mould . Going to cause a bit of ire here but Rio for me has shot his bolt with the club , looks uninterested and too easily bullied , but he is not alone in that , Although a very talented footballer Matt goes out the game too if the going gets tough . I am unaware of amarty but like very much your description of the player as fitting the bill . Unfortunately we need to start afresh with our wingers ,we brought in a few over the past couple of seasons ,and none for me have set the Heather on fire ,none any better than mikey j . A clearcut is a must too many present who will not hold a place in our team and draining wages onto the bargain . No sorry to say Brendan and his trusted scouts have much work to do , clear the decks it will bring in some funds to lower what we need to pay out for better first team ready replacements . HH

Bada Bing
June 15, 2024 10:33 am

Kevin Campbell RIP

June 15, 2024 10:42 am

St Tams
Better stock up on sunblock.
Your cheeks will be beetroot before we sign our next project!

June 15, 2024 10:49 am


I think BR and RH are not suited to each other’s football philosophy.
Brendan is a low risk coach.
Rio has a visionary style more suited to the modern attacking possession game.
His passing is too high risk for BR’s system.
I think Rio is our most creative player but unsuited to our slow cross field style of play so it is probably better for both parties moving him on.

Last edited 27 days ago by Fan
June 15, 2024 11:13 am

Interesting round up of our requirements Bobby but surely the top priority is a keeper. Lets get the tin opened and sign the right man. If all the other ifs buts and maybes fall in place good enough but there is absolutely no way we can progress without a top keeper. We are as a club laughiing now at Norwich asking in the region of 8mil for Idah but we are reportedly talking 6mil for Mikey Johnston.
Do me a favour. 6mil greenshield stamps more like. Christ if we dont manage to offload him we are stuck with another winger to add to the list along with Haska.
Those recruitment folk have a mega job this summer but a goalie is top requirement.
Can we go with Bain as #1 . Ask yoursel. Would you take that gamble…

Inar the black
June 15, 2024 11:34 am

A lot of Reo’s bad passing is not high risk. He messes up a lot of simple passes , especially in the first 20 mins. Seems to take him that long to get into a game a lot of the time.

June 15, 2024 12:22 pm


You are well off the pace with your analysis — bit like SC in big games.
Good up to a point but after that it has catastrophe written all over it.

Our weakness last season was our MF.
Being outplayed on a regular basis by SPL journeymen is not a good look.
Lack of drive / energy / engagement was there for all to see.

March / April was particularly bad.
Not sure if BR has gotten on top of our issues.
The SCF was a terrible performance — only CMcG turned up.
Timely but only one of six good games in a shocking season.
Something has too change — to suggest it should be RH is a bit quixotic to say the least.

We have square pegs in round holes.
We have unsettled players struggling to focus.
We have mercurial talent unloved and kicked off the park.
We have young potential unwanted on the voyage.
We have talent out on loan but not appreciated.

Main issue going forward is that we need a new shape and new dynamic in MF.
If RH goes then it will just get harder and it will highlight our glass jaw all the more.

Given what we have he is the player we should build our MF around.
Hopefully the good pre-season angle will work and get him fully aligned with BR.

MOR — I think he needs to go to a better team / huge talent but a part timer with us.
CMcG — We can’t play Govan FC every week / squad player at best for us.
He is due some slack for the efforts he puts in as captain but he is now a liability at DM.

PB — good player in there somewhere just a case we don’t seem to know where.
TI — has something / quite a lot in fact but still has to settle in the SPL.

OTH — he has got something but we don’t seem to want it or appreciate it.
KH-k — made progress on loan but still a bit to go but we should be making more of his ability.
BL — rough cut and a bit sloppy but he has a lot of what we need.

New season / new start for BR — it took a while but he seems to have his mojo back.
He seemed to be all over the place regarding squad engagement / post match comments.
Hopefully he is back up to speed with a squad he knows and trusts.

And double hopefully the JF luv was a passing fad — he will not make it to October.
The adrenaline rush will dissipate and we will be back to tippy / tappy passes to the RB before the clocks go back.


June 15, 2024 12:27 pm

All about levels, it’s a reminder of what we can expect in the CL.

Never get angry about Scotland or celtic in the CL, just making up the numbers.

Let’s see if the FTSFA put some money into grass roots football, or have they turned to the celtic philosophy of its pay rise time.

When was the last time Scotland produced a real player of outstanding quality?

Answers on a postcard

Last edited 27 days ago by Pitymevin
ernie lynch
June 15, 2024 12:45 pm

Say what you want about King Charles, but he obviously isn’t one to bear a grudge if he’s handing out honours to Coisty and Sounessie after their failed attempts to avoid contributing to his late mother’s revenue and customs.

June 15, 2024 12:48 pm

NT catastrophe last night — SC playing safety first with players he knows.
Limited game-plan being worked long after its credibility had waned.

SC is struggling to come to terms with known players on the slide and new players coming to the fore. It has been part of his style for a while now but the elastic snapped last night.

We have struggled to make the step up to playing quality teams on a regular basis.
Our recent run of defeats / failure against better teams has shown our limitations for all to see.
Our confidence is shot and SC is not getting any message across.

We should be playing a bank of four then a bank of five when we don’t have the ball.

Last night it was a bank of 6 or 7 looking for the Alamo to defend then three waifs and strays looking lost. Germany just kept cutting the ball back taking the space and taking their chances.

AG — terrible performance.

AR(2) — gave it his best shot / will have learned a lot from the game / best pass of the night.
AR(3) — carrying an injury?

JH — 9 months of exhibition games has not helped / looked lost.
RP — back to his old Hibbee ways / good footballer but no defender.
KT — looked lost / never in the game / not a CB.

JMcG — his formula has been worked out / not much left.
SMcT — wrong position / wrong attitude / wrong mix in the middle / holidaymaker.
CMcG — the NT 4 in the MF suits his game / terrible last night / wrong mix in the middle.
RC — wrong position / struggled with their physicality.

CA — didn’t do enough for the team / team didn’t do enough for him.

When a good team out muscles a limited team it is always going to be a long night.
We looked to be a bit shocked by their physical effort — not a good look.

Sol Kitts
June 15, 2024 12:50 pm

As Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get a punch on the face.”
Stevie Clarke’s plan didn’t last beyond the opening jab, and we were on the deck in the equivalent of round 3 (9 minutes). If last night had been a boxing match the ref would have stepped in at half time to save us further punishment.

June 15, 2024 1:08 pm

Right- just done my 3 predictions for today and I notice that Bada Bing & Jonny the Tim are not showing up again as having made their predictions. They are being credited with default picks of Germany so they haven’t fallen behind but they will get the home team as default throughout if they have not pressed submit on their picks.

Chalmersbhoy has still to submit todays picks too

June 15, 2024 1:28 pm

EL Highlight of last night was Keano’s response to being asked about the honours list 😂

June 15, 2024 1:43 pm

GS and AMcC getting baubles in the Honours list — interesting timing.
Forgotten about for decades and suddenly up they pop in the middle of the election season.
You have to hand it to Sunak — completely talentless but he tries hard.

June 15, 2024 2:12 pm


Re the passing fad for James Forrest – I am extremely grateful for it. We would have not won the double without his contribution. The rest of your post is thought provoking and reasonably constructive but I think he, James, deserves better than your cheap dig

Keep up the good work- slainte


June 15, 2024 2:13 pm

Swiss goal given by VAR 1-0

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
June 15, 2024 2:14 pm


“ outplayed in midfield “ ?

Outnumbered… always, no exceptions.
One reason the much maligned Greg Taylor named unless injured.
Outplayed… rarely.

June 15, 2024 2:14 pm

JB67 @ 2.12

JF = 6 week sugar rush.
As you mention — I am very grateful as well.
However he is not the future and will not last until October.

Big packy😉😉
June 15, 2024 2:19 pm

Afternoon all and JIm and sMagua well well well we got beat again FFS I’ve watched Scotland side’s with players like Denis law billy bremner wee jinky king Kenny and dare I say it Jim Baxter and we still got horsed there was a poster on here and Çqn who used to say fix fitba empty Hampden another true story 😉 😉

Bada Bing
June 15, 2024 2:39 pm

MM- nothing nationalist about it,it’s a bit of fun

June 15, 2024 2:41 pm

Looks like it will come down to the Hungary game for Scotland

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
June 15, 2024 2:44 pm

Impressive first half by Switzerland Xhaka running the show

June 15, 2024 2:46 pm

Great finish 2-0 toblerones

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