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A Football Season In The Life Of A Murraysworld Member - 2007 Season


Had training this evening and our centre back decided to wear his Maradona Argentina shirt to annoy me. lol

We were practicing corners and I came out to catch one while he was attacking and he unfortunately chose this one to try and 'do a Maradona' and punch one in while he was wearing the shirt, only I of course got the ball and he got me instead. Got a slight headache now and might be sporting a nice black eye tomorrow.
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Well there is a slight noticeable black eye now. lol

Anyway, Waiheke Island at home tomorrow at 1pm. We are meeting at our ground at 11.45 and then a few will take their cars to the wharf (about 15 minutes away) to pick up the opposition, who will have hopefully got on the correct ferry and got off at the correct wharf (for every other away game they will go to the city, it's just for us there's a different wharf close by) at the correct time.
Apparently we have the number 1 pitch at our club's home ground tomorrow which is nice. It's a really nice pitch, like carpet, and is always reserved for the first team and reserves. Everyone else is lucky to get it once or twice a season and in fact I don't think my team got it once last season. I've saved 2 penalties on there in my time (probably not had more than a handful of games on it) so the number 1 pitch has been quite kind to me personally.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 June 08, 2007, 09:39 AM ] IP Logged

09/06/2007 - Game 9
Opposition: Waiheke Island
Venue: Home
Kickoff: 1.00pm
Weather: Cool but calm

Arrived at our home ground at 11.45am to get the nets up on the number 1 pitch and then me and 3 others went off to the wharf to pick up the opposition. 10 players came over on the ferry plus a few supporters (couple of wives and kids etc) and another 3 or 4 guys were already over here for various reasons. 2 players came back to the ground with me. Seemed decent guys, and they told me they lost 2-1 to Uni Mt Wellington last week, which kept Uni Mt 3 points ahead of us.

Game started quite evenly and looked like it was going to be a tight one. We had much of the possession early on but no real chances to show for it. About 20 minutes in, one of our centre backs had got into trouble on the left sideline and I screamed at him to just kick it out. Instead he turns and kicks it across the field. Only he knows what he was trying to do, but it surely can't have been to slice it and pick out their unmarked left winger (guy I brought in my car) about 25 yards from goal. He came into the penalty area, and got his shot away before another defender could get there, and I made a pretty reasonable save pushing it away for a corner. After that, chances started coming our way. There were the inevitable couple of misses, until about the 30th minute, when our striker found a way through a couple of defenders and placed it into the far corner for the lead. Just a couple of minutes later our centre back again got himself into trouble, losing the ball on half way and then sticking out his hand to stop their attempted through ball, giving away an intentional free kick. From the free kick, he misjudged his clearing header, slicing it backwards to the left winger who had come in unmarked thanks to our right back who was nowhere to be seen. He chested it and then tried a volley, and made a double contact with it coming off his shin which helped the ball loop over me into the far top corner for an equaliser. Hadn't been a good day so far for Julian (centre back) that's for sure!
We got back on top after this, and our best player Afroman had a fierce shot off the post.

Then shortly before half time they played a long ball into the box, I jumped up to catch it and got hacked down by the other guy I'd brought in my car as he had slid in. Managed to gather the ball at the 2nd attempt after negotiating my way out over his tangled legs, so no harm done. We raced up the other end of the field and got into a good counter attack, until the final ball was played too high and long (at least I thought so). But our goal scorer managed to get to it inside the box on the right, flicked it up over the defender and then smashed it into the far corner with a right foot volley. It was an awesome goal, just like THAT goal Paul Gascoigne scored against Scotland. And this from a guy who usually misses at least 5 sitters a game. There was still time for them to have another couple of attacks, and right on half time, a cut back fro the left winger led to a midfielder hitting a pretty sweet first time effort from outside the box, and I made an excellent save low at full strecth to push it round the post. They should have scored from the resulting corner. Julian again misjudging a header, and it fell the one of their players who lashed it over from about 7 yards. He's usually a rock solid defender and not much gets passed him, but this half had been a real nightmare for him.

I'd noticed the game on the adjacent number 2 pitch had been stopped for about 10 minutes and there was some kind of big injury. A guy had been carried off on a stretcher and didn't seem to be moving at all, and then an ambulance turned up at half time. I assumed it was probably a broken leg.

Anyway, the 2nd half came and we controlled much of the possession again. The chances kept coming and as per usual we kept missing. How one guy has not scored yet this season I don't know. He's missed an extraodinary amount of chances, and today missed 2 really bad sitters from inside the 6 yard box. He's really pissed off with it now, came off the field so dejected. He's a good player too, he just needs one and then I reckon he'll score every week. In 2 weeks we play the worst team who we beat 9-1 first time round so that should be his chance to get off the mark.
There were a couple of potential boiling points in the 2nd half, with frustrated fouls by one of their players, but fortunately it didn't get out of hand.
They didn't offer too much in the way of scoring chances in the 2nd half, but while it was 2-1 there was always the fear the missed chances would come back to haunt us like last week. Finally with about 10 minutes to go, a one on one was finished off to give us a 3-1 cushion, and that's how it ended.
Big win and I think it was important for our confidence etc to get through one of these tight matches on the winning side.

Result: 3-1 Win
Personal Peformance: Good. 2 excellent saves in the first half, the 1st to keep us level and the 2nd to maintain the lead to half time. Reasonably comfortable 2nd half.

They were getting the ferry back at 5 so they sat up in the bar until about 4.30 when me and the same 3 others came back to pick them up and take them back to the wharf. This time 4 guys squashed into my car.

Uni Mt Wellington won again today so they are 3 points clear of us at the top, and we play them next week. Their only loss has been the 6-2 to us in the first game so it will be interesting to see how much they have improved, or possible how much they may have missed a player or 2 that day. Huge game and we have to win it to have any chance of winning this league. If we lose, we'll fall 6 points behind which will be too much to catch up on them. But if we can beat them again we'll pull level on points and ahead on goal difference. They may be top but we don't have any reason to fear them and should feel quite confident as we know they are a team we can beat. We'll have to do it without our best player though unfortunately. Afroman texted our coach shortly after the game saying apparently someone had died and he'll have to go back to Japan for a couple of weeks.

As for the injury on pitch 2, it wasn't a broken leg as I thought. My Dad who came to watch this week said it was a neck injury. He didn't see what happened but heard them say it was a neck and saw the guy being carried off to the ambulance with a neck brace etc. Our coach heard later on from someone that the guy was in hospital so it was worse than just an A&E visit. No idea what happened but seems it could be quite serious.

Hoping to get some photos to show soon. Some were taken by one of our subs at a game a few weeks ago and a myspace has been set up, but no pics on there as yet.
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Ok results finally updated for the last 2 weeks and things are pretty interesting now.
Metro drew with the Choppers a couple of weeks ago which was a good result for us.
I've attached the updated league table below.

So best attack and defence and still third!
We are playing Uni Mt Wellington tomorrow so as you can see it's a massive, and for us, must win game. If we lose, that's us out of the title race as there's no way we are going to catch up 6 points on them given we are the only team to beat them so far this season. If we win, then we come level with them on points and ahead on goal difference, and it's all on.
Things could get very interesting this weekend, with Metro also playing Ellerslie Findlay in the other top of the table clash. The Choppers also have a guaranteed 3 points as they have Onehunga. So they will certainly be on 20 points after tomorrow. If we win and Ellerslie win then there will be 4 teams on 22 and the end of season title race should be pretty exciting. Or on the other hand, there could be 2 teams almost out of reach on 25. A couple of what they call "6 point matches."

As you can see the goals scored is pretty high for just 9 games for the top 4. Look at the bottom 3. We beat them 9-0, 9-1 and 10-0 in that order and given their goals conceded, the other top teams have done something similar so that sort of heavily inflates the goals scored up the top.

Our best player Shingo (aka Afroman) will be playing, he will leave for Japan after this game and be away for 2 weeks. Something to do with a year's anniversary of a Grandparent's death. Apparently he has to go back for a couple of weeks.

And our captain's Dad sadly died last week so it would be nice to get an important win for him. :cry:He's a good friend of mine and his Dad was always a really great guy whenever I encountered him, which has usually been through football over the years. Not sure if he will be playing tomorrow, but he was apparently at training the other day (I was not due to my exam).

[ Last edit by invisibleman18 June 15, 2007, 12:40 PM ] IP Logged

16/06/2007 - Game 10
Opposition: University Mt Wellington Carlsberg
Venue: Away
Kickoff: 2.45pm
Weather: Cold but calm

So this was it. Win and we could be top depending on the Metro-Ellerslie result, or lose and we could be 5th and out of the running in terms of winning the league. That's how it tight things were.

We had an official ref for this one. Our coach organised some guy he knew who was a registered ref to come along which was good, and in fairness he did a good job.
In the first minute, they got to the byline, pulled the ball back and one of our players sliced his clearance towards goal, and I did well to catch it just under the bar. One of our strikers on halfway wanted the ball played up the right touchline, so I tried to find him with my punt and got it perfect. Cleared the left back and released him into their half down the sideline to control it, get to the byline, and square it for our other striker to give us a dream start.
We kept going at a million miles an hour clearly going all out for the win and we carved out more chances, but couldn't finish them off. After about 10 minutes they found some time in our half, played the ball over the top for their striker to run onto, I rushed out and managed to slide and grab the ball just in time, almost having my head taken off by his raised foot in the process (probably not suprising - see game 1 for similar actions by the same guy). Not long after they carved out another chance. Ball played over the top from our right for someone to run onto in the box, and it bounced up for him to hit it on the volley. I rushed out and threw myself towards the ball, and was relieved to feel it crash into me and then see our left back clearing the loose ball when I'd managed to find where the ball rebounded too.
After that we were all over them for probably another 10 minutes, but as has been the case all season, chances came and were not finished. Couple of saves by their keeper and a few misses kept them in the game. We should have been 3 or 4 up before they levelled. But it wasn't to be. Through ball found their striker come through unchallenged by our left back and slot it passed me for the equaliser. A couple of minutes later they had a corner. An unchallenged header hit the bar and the rebound was smashed in for 1-2.

Suddenly it was all them. I did well to get out and catch a cross just ahead of their unmarked waiting striker, but on their next attack he came through unchallenged by our left back again and scored with a replica of the first. We were shellshocked. Should have had this game well in the bag and in the space of 10 minutes it was gone. Too add insult to injury our left back stood and watch the same guy walk through again and score pretty much the same goal once more right on half time. We had battered them for 25 minutes and somehow went into half time 4-1 down with our hopes of winning the league over.

2nd half got off to the worst possible start with a shot from outside the box taking a huge deflection up into the top corner. Too our credit though, we didn't stop playing and the 2nd half was pretty much all us. We probably had enough chances to have taken something from the game and we did finish 2 of them off for a slightly more respectable 5-3.

Hugely disappointing result. We had them for 25 minutes in the first half, and the 2nd half was all us too. 20 minutes and a nightmare from our left back in the first half lost us the game, and with it the league title. 6 points behind these guys now with 8 games to go, and we are the only team to beat them all season. They are not likely to drop 6 points.

Result: 3-5 Loss
Personal Peformance: Not bad considering the result. Major hand in the first goal and played great while we were 1-0 up. Couldn't have done much about the goals although perhaps slightly disappointed not to have got something on the header to take it away from the bar. Solid 2nd half.

The most disappointing thing is that we would have been top if we had converted our first half chances and won. Ellerslie got up and beat Metro so had we won, there would have been 4 teams on 22 points and we'd have been top on goal difference. The loss, coupled with the Choppers' inevitable thrashing of Onehunga amazingly leaves us 5th, despite still having the best attack and best defence. But it's not all doom and gloom yet. 3 points behind Metro, 3 behind Ellerslie and 1 behind the Choppers, all of which we still have to play, aswell as them playing each other and each having to play Uni Mt Wellington. They are the only 3 teams we failed to beat in the 1st round of matches, and in fact took just 1 point of a possible 9 against them. Those are the games that have cost us. We let slip a 2-0 lead against Ellerslie, although were screwed screwed by an offside equaliser well after time should have been up, we got hacked off the field by the Choppers and their alleged "official ref" (all going well our coach will certainly get his ref mate to come along for that one) and never should have let Metro back into the game to beat us. So we've got a reasonable chance of beaing able to beat those 3 next time around so 2nd and promotion is still well within reach given they'll probably drop points to Uni Mt Wellington, but the league all but gone.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 June 20, 2007, 12:14 PM ] IP Logged

Was wondering earlier what happend to Saturday match. lol

Shame it was such a bad result. Frown
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Yes, I was too pissed off to get round to thinking about writing it.
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All games postponed tomorrow due to the weather. Council has closed all the grounds.
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Sorry this has taken a while, couldn't be arsed thinking about the game and writing it up.

30/06/2007 - Game 11
Opposition: Metro
Venue: Away
Kickoff: 2.45pm
Weather: Cold but calm

Weather had been horrendous all week and I expected all football to be postponed like the previous week, but amazingly it was still on. Our game was at Metro's main ground, where I had never been before (quite a lengthy drive out to West Auckland) and we were on their number 1 pitch.
Expected it to be a bog, but it was actually a fantastic pitch. One of the nicest I've ever played on, and despite all the rain it was in top notch condition. Maybe even nicer than our number 1 pitch which is right up there.

Anyway it was a must win game in terms of our chances of finishing 2nd and gaining promotion. And we started well, having much of the early possession. As usual, we created openings but didn't finsh them off. Their keeper made 2 astonishing saves inside the first 15 minutes, and I heard one of their subs on the sideline saying that he was keeping them in the game.
They got forward occasionally but we restricted them to long shots that went wide, and crosses that were usually straightforward enough for me to claim. As has been a familiar story this season, we battered them for 40 minutes and failed to score. Then they got a break down our left, put in a perfect cross from the byline, and the 7 foot giant at the far post headed home, giving me no chance. Absolutely gutted to be going in behind when we had been so on top.

I hoped we'd lift it in the 2nd half and get back in it, but a corner for them in the first minute ended said hopes. The free header down was not great, I smothered it without much trouble. Unfortunately our right back on the post decided to take a swing and kicked it out of my grasp, gifting them a goal. And this was were many of our players (ie, the ones who don't turn up to training) gave up. They couldn't be arsed, and from then on it was pretty much Metro vs me. I made a string of saves, tipping one over, pushing another couple round the post etc. But there's only so much I can do from the back. I can keep us in the game, but can't do too much beyond our penalty area. And when the others have given up because they don't have the fitness, or the heart to last 90 minutes (thanks to their lack of training) what can I do?
We barely got the ball out of our half for the remained of the game, and it was largely thanks to me that they didnt score again until another free header from a corner with about 10 minutes to go.
1 rare attack in the final seconds saw us put one on the board and it finished a pretty dismal 1-3 loss, and with it goes any hope of finishing in the top 2. There's 6 or 7 of us who are always present at every training etc and it was no suprise that we were the ones who played our hearts out. The guys who don't turn up are obviously the ones who can't last 90 minutes, and throw in the towel when things get tough. As our coach said at the end, "it was easy to see who the mentally weak players were."
We've played Metro twice this season now and absolutely battered them off the field for a game and a half of it. And we have not picked up a single point against them.
Having seen every team, I still believe that in terms of skill, we are the best team in this league by quite some way. But without the commitment and fitness from half of the team, we're going to finish midtable.

Result: 1-3 Loss
Personal Peformance: Good. Kept the score respectable, and what more could I do when it was pretty much 11 vs me for the 2nd half.

All games postponed tomorrow as the weather has again been horrendous. Disappointing as we were playing one of the worst teams, who we beat 9-0 last time. Would have been a good chance to get back into some sort of form and raise morale etc.
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shocking I have never been as cold, wet and muddy as I was after training this evening!

Forgot to mention that my club's first team apparently had a match against the Samoan national team last week. No idea how it was organised, I suppose someone must know someone and somehow arranged the match. Interestingly Tim Cahill's brother is the Samoan side's captain.
The match lasted 15 minutes. Mass brawl broke out after several horrific tackles from the Samoans, and even the ref suffered a broken hand in trying to break things up. roflmao
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07/07/2007 - Game 12
Opposition: Onehunga
Venue: Away
Kickoff: 2.45pm
Weather: Sunny but cool

Arrived at the game to find Afroman is back from Japan, but minus the afro. The parents didn't approve of it apparently. lol
It was quite a big ground with loads of pitches, and the one we were given was without a doubt the worst I'd ever seen in my life. It wasn't even a cow paddock, words can't describe it. There were massive patches of sand in random places all over the pitch and parts of it were pretty boggy. It was just generally awful.

So half an hour before kickoff there was still no opposition. 1 guy had turned up and he came over to us and said it looks like he's the only one and he didn't think anyone else would show up. He wanted to default but we were determined to play as if we played them, we'd easily beat them 10-0 or more, but a deafult would only give us a 2-0. So we waited to see if anyone else would come. Eventually they managed to scramble 7 together, which is the minimum so they had to play. Unfortunately this is what happens sometimes when you have 2 or 3 guys who want to play and try to put a team together. If they get smashed every week like this one, then by the 2nd half of the season most of them just can't be bothered anymore and don't come. I've had 1 season like it before so feel sorry for the few there who were keen to play.
We had 14 so gave them 3 to make it 11 on 10. Gave them the backup keeper, who rarely comes, so he could have a game and our worst player, and some other guy who turned up, someone's friend or something.

Nothing much to report on the game really. The whole thing was a bit of a shambles, probably the worst game in terms of quality I've ever played in. They were awful, and it seemed a pretty half-arsed effort from us.
Ended up 10-0 but it probably should have been 20. I was pretty much a spectator. Handful of catches but no real save. There was one funny moment in the 2nd half. Through ball was played through and I rushed out to grab it on the edge of the box, and slipped in the bog, almost losing the ball. Then when I got up, I went to throw it out to our left back who was free, and as I was throwing it suddenly their right winger (who was a player we gave them) appeared from nowhere. He must have been behind the left back so I didn't see him. So I stopped half way through the throw and the ball went a few metres away from me, meaning I had to sprint over and get it again. It was hilarious at the time, I couldn't stop laughing for a minute or 2. A moment that probably summed up the entire game. lol

Result: 10-0 Win
Personal Peformance: Spectator, but added some humour in the 2nd half.

Next week is going to be a tough game against those bloody Choppers. Hopefully we can organise a proper ref to come, coach is onto it.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 August 05, 2007, 08:00 AM ] IP Logged

Revenge on the Choppers was very satisfying. cmon yeah

More to follow tomorrow.
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21/07/2007 - Game 13
Opposition: Western Springs Choppers
Venue: Home
Kickoff: 1.00pm
Weather: Atrocious

Day started as a bit of a shambles for me. 1st went into the city to pick up a new friend (Wink) who was going to come and watch. Alas I hadn't considered where exactly I was going to park. I almost had about 4 crashes as it was bedlam and I just wanted to stop somewhere. Eventually had to go into a carpark for 5 minutes and pay $4. Finally met her and there had been a mixup. I thought the plan was to go to the game, then we'd go to her Dad's place way out west afterwards, but for some reason she thought we were going to the Dad's place 1st (she had to be there at 1) and then the game was at 3. She had no other transport so then I had to drop her at the Dad's place so called my coach to let him know I'd be late and begged him to delay kickoff. I was out west, about 40 minutes away usually at 12.40. lol Somehow I eventually managed to get there right on kickoff time and fortunately the other team were late turning up so it had been delayed 15 minutes anyway.
So all in all I ended up doing over 2 hours driving for a home game 10 minutes from home. And she didn't even end up coming. Not to worry, the evening made up for that. Very Happy cmon yeah But that's for another thread another time. roflmao

Right, onto the game then. The 2 weeks games had been postponed probably would have been ok to play. This wasn't postponed and most certainly should have been. The pitch was totally waterlogged. It was ridiculous, and quite dangerous. Really abysmal conditions.
Their so called "official ref" hadn't come this time, although our coach hadn't managed to get his ref friend to come either so he did it himself. I thought he did a pretty fair job and let quite a few of their bad slide tackles go because of the conditions. But they were still pretty upset with him at the end. To be fair, I thought he maybe got one decision wrong where he should have let play go on instead of giving a free kick. But other than that, when the game was already over anyway, everything was top notch.

So we started out on top, and scored pretty much right from the kickoff. Absolute stunner of a goal. Our right winger picked up the ball just over half way, on the right touchline, and went on an amazing run and somehow smashed the ball in off the post from outside the box. Everyone just stopped stunned that it went in. Breath-taking.
Not long after, it was 2-0. Ball squared across to the edge of the box and finished off by one of the strikers. They had nothing in the conditions. Insanely wet and muddy, and we just ran rings around them, all they could do was hoof it forwards. But as per usual, we failed to kill the game off, and one poor backpass from our centre back that stopped in the mud, allowed them to run through and pull 1 back.
I got slightly busier towards the end of the first half. Made a good stop from a through ball. Their guy slid in straight into me but luckily he came off worst, injuring his wrist somehow. Serves him right for coming in studs up. Was forced into another decent save just before half time. Shot from outside the box, I did well to track back and push over for a corner. Could have held it maybe but last season I tried to hold onto a similar shot in much the same conditions and it slipped straight through the hands and in, so this time took the safe option and made sure it went nowhere near the goal.

So 2-1 at half time. 2nd half we just ran all over them. Scored a couple of quick goals to kill the game off and we played some awesome football given the conditions. 5th goal came from a penalty. We had a corner and some idiot jumped up and punched it off our striker's head. They argued it but it was a ridiculous argument. From my end I saw a hand go up and punch the ball away. That made it 5, but the best was still to come. Former Afroman went on a nice run, and beat a couple of defenders (probably getting fouled a couple of times), then he seemed to stop, look around, then turn round and put the ball in the top corner from miles out. Amazing stuff. I thought he was looking round at the ref, but he said the ball stopped in the mud and he was trying to keep his balance.
There was time for them to get one breakway and have another, but by then it was all over.
Very satisfying 6-2 revenge victory. And as I said, they were very pissed off but I think that's more because for once they just got beaten by a better team and were not allowed to cheat.

Result: 6-2 Win
Personal Peformance: Good. Not my busiest game, but did well when called upon given the terrible conditions. Good block and good save in 1st half, solid 2nd half.

[ Last edit by invisibleman18 August 05, 2007, 08:00 AM ] IP Logged

28/07/2007 - Game 14
Opposition: Eastern Suburbs
Venue: Home
Kickoff: 2.45pm
Weather: Warm and sunny

Apologies for neglecting this over the last week. This weekend's game was once again postponed. Just aswell tbh, as against the strong Ellerslie Findlay with the lack of committment we've been having recently, we'd have lost 4-0.

So last week it was away against Eastern Suburbs.
We started the better of the sides, although they forced a couple of early openings. A through ball in behind our out of position left back (sigh) sent their striker through on goal. I rushed out and did enough to send him wide and lose the ball out for a goal kick. Shortly after, a long throw on our right was allowed to bounce and they had another player free in the box. A scramble eventually resulted in our captain clearing one off the line. After that, they were never in the game.
I can't be bothered writing up all that much, there's not much to say. Simply, we should have won 100-0. We had all of the ball after the first 10 minutes, and they barely got possession in our half. Their keeper was solid, but never really had to make a spectacular save. Closest we came was hitting the bar in the last 10 minutes.

It was very frustrating and of course very annoying. They were muppets. In 2 whole games against them, I've not made 1 save. We've now blown any chance of finishing in the top 2.
Quite possibly the most 1 sided 0-0 draw in history. Similar to that Arsenal-CSKA Moscow game last season.

Result: 0-0 Draw
Personal Peformance: Solid with what I had to do, but not forced into a save.

Next week is the trip to Waiheke Island. It was scheduled to be the last game of the season but with the postponements, there's still 3 more to go after it. Who knows if it will go ahead though? I reckon we'll be lucky to have the bare 11 turn up at the wharf tbh.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 August 05, 2007, 08:10 AM ] IP Logged
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