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Wexford Intercounty Hurling 2023

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Replying To Viking66:  "Anyone go to any of the meetings the CB organised with the underage coaches of the county's clubs? What did you think?"
box ticking exercise

james2011 (Wexford) - Posts: 602 - 05/10/2023 10:56:04    2507021

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Replying To james2011:  "box ticking exercise"
They stated at the start that the purpose of the meetings was to improve the general standard of hurling and football at club level in the county, which obviously leads on to starting at u6 and working up. U10 and U12 seemed to be the grades they were particularly targetting. I got the impression they were trying to push for the underage year to run for 9 or 10 months. There was quite alot of resistance to that idea in the room. Comparisons to other counties were sought and also presented.
Attendance was pretty poor . The chairman said there will be changes to the GPO model, although he didn't state what these would be. Same as the vague bulletin on the subject there recently. The biggest problem with it currently is that many underage teams at many clubs don't avail of their GPOs services, as regards taking sessions or coaching coaches and mentors.
In fairness everyone that was there stayed alot longer than the scheduled time, and alot of views were expressed, some more radical than others!

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 11:33:59    2507029

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Replying To james2011:  "box ticking exercise"
They stated at the start that the purpose of the meetings was to improve the general standard of hurling and football at club level in the county, which obviously leads on to starting at u6 and working up. U10 and U12 seemed to be the grades they were particularly targetting. I got the impression they were trying to push for the underage year to run for 9 or 10 months. There was quite alot of resistance to that idea in the room. Comparisons to other counties were sought and also presented.
Attendance was pretty poor . The chairman said there will be changes to the GPO model, although he didn't state what these would be. Same as the vague bulletin on the subject there recently. The biggest problem with it currently is that many underage teams at many clubs don't avail of their GPOs services, as regards taking sessions or coaching coaches and mentors.
In fairness everyone that was there stayed alot longer than the scheduled time, and alot of views were expressed, some more radical than others!

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 11:34:22    2507030

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Replying To Viking66:  "They stated at the start that the purpose of the meetings was to improve the general standard of hurling and football at club level in the county, which obviously leads on to starting at u6 and working up. U10 and U12 seemed to be the grades they were particularly targetting. I got the impression they were trying to push for the underage year to run for 9 or 10 months. There was quite alot of resistance to that idea in the room. Comparisons to other counties were sought and also presented.
Attendance was pretty poor . The chairman said there will be changes to the GPO model, although he didn't state what these would be. Same as the vague bulletin on the subject there recently. The biggest problem with it currently is that many underage teams at many clubs don't avail of their GPOs services, as regards taking sessions or coaching coaches and mentors.
In fairness everyone that was there stayed alot longer than the scheduled time, and alot of views were expressed, some more radical than others!"
Excuse my ignorance but how long is the underage season atm? I would have assumed it is 9 months as is the case in Dublin?

wexfordwin (Wexford) - Posts: 105 - 05/10/2023 13:20:29    2507043

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Replying To Viking66:  "They stated at the start that the purpose of the meetings was to improve the general standard of hurling and football at club level in the county, which obviously leads on to starting at u6 and working up. U10 and U12 seemed to be the grades they were particularly targetting. I got the impression they were trying to push for the underage year to run for 9 or 10 months. There was quite alot of resistance to that idea in the room. Comparisons to other counties were sought and also presented.
Attendance was pretty poor . The chairman said there will be changes to the GPO model, although he didn't state what these would be. Same as the vague bulletin on the subject there recently. The biggest problem with it currently is that many underage teams at many clubs don't avail of their GPOs services, as regards taking sessions or coaching coaches and mentors.
In fairness everyone that was there stayed alot longer than the scheduled time, and alot of views were expressed, some more radical than others!"
Would be disappointed myself with the attitude of "box ticking exercise" when you consider what the intentions of the meetings are, and the importance of feedback/suggestions/etc.

Also disappointed at such opposition to the notion of extending the playing year at Go Games level (U8 & U10) in particular.

We have a Go Games programme that runs from approx. mid-April to mid-September. Most clubs don't start training for those age groups until the clocks change at the end of March. So at best, that's just five and a half months to cover two sports.

And considering there's a push for clubs to give a 50/50 split to football and hurling, and some people even get upset at the notion that one or the other mightn't be getting close to 50%, that means less than three months worth of hurling and less than three months worth of football for boys in their real formative years.

Conversely, if the same boys play soccer or rugby, their season starts at beginning around September and probably runs all the way through to May before finishing - that's eight months for just one sport.

Main reason for the opposition to extending the season seems to be coaches saying "we put in enough time already", but if underage rugby or soccer coaches can put in eight months of the year, why can't underage GAA coaches do the same?

And before anybody says "easy for you to say", or "put your money where your mouth is" - I've spent the last few years coaching at Go Games level in my own club, and I'd be all in favour of starting earlier in the year and finishing later. You could even work around those other sports - e.g. Sunday mornings wouldn't interfere with underage soccer. You could also explore the option of midweek events in the suitable venues around the county.

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2155 - 05/10/2023 13:41:57    2507055

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Replying To Viking66:  "They stated at the start that the purpose of the meetings was to improve the general standard of hurling and football at club level in the county, which obviously leads on to starting at u6 and working up. U10 and U12 seemed to be the grades they were particularly targetting. I got the impression they were trying to push for the underage year to run for 9 or 10 months. There was quite alot of resistance to that idea in the room. Comparisons to other counties were sought and also presented.
Attendance was pretty poor . The chairman said there will be changes to the GPO model, although he didn't state what these would be. Same as the vague bulletin on the subject there recently. The biggest problem with it currently is that many underage teams at many clubs don't avail of their GPOs services, as regards taking sessions or coaching coaches and mentors.
In fairness everyone that was there stayed alot longer than the scheduled time, and alot of views were expressed, some more radical than others!"
The GPO new model was presented on an online presentation some weeks back. It wasnt a case clubs dont avail of it, it was more a case they prioritised some clubs over others and availability wasnt there for all. In my view, it was creating a massive imbalance by having this system the way it was. Clubs dying on their feet, particularly rurally, but they were making sure the town clubs and more populated ones were getting further assistance. We should all just forget about football anyway and play in the dead of winter and leave all the summer to play the hurling.

james2011 (Wexford) - Posts: 602 - 05/10/2023 14:10:23    2507059

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Replying To wexfordwin:  "Excuse my ignorance but how long is the underage season atm? I would have assumed it is 9 months as is the case in Dublin?"
Some teams are only going April to September. Maybe the majority

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 14:59:45    2507064

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Replying To Pikeman96:  "Would be disappointed myself with the attitude of "box ticking exercise" when you consider what the intentions of the meetings are, and the importance of feedback/suggestions/etc.

Also disappointed at such opposition to the notion of extending the playing year at Go Games level (U8 & U10) in particular.

We have a Go Games programme that runs from approx. mid-April to mid-September. Most clubs don't start training for those age groups until the clocks change at the end of March. So at best, that's just five and a half months to cover two sports.

And considering there's a push for clubs to give a 50/50 split to football and hurling, and some people even get upset at the notion that one or the other mightn't be getting close to 50%, that means less than three months worth of hurling and less than three months worth of football for boys in their real formative years.

Conversely, if the same boys play soccer or rugby, their season starts at beginning around September and probably runs all the way through to May before finishing - that's eight months for just one sport.

Main reason for the opposition to extending the season seems to be coaches saying "we put in enough time already", but if underage rugby or soccer coaches can put in eight months of the year, why can't underage GAA coaches do the same?

And before anybody says "easy for you to say", or "put your money where your mouth is" - I've spent the last few years coaching at Go Games level in my own club, and I'd be all in favour of starting earlier in the year and finishing later. You could even work around those other sports - e.g. Sunday mornings wouldn't interfere with underage soccer. You could also explore the option of midweek events in the suitable venues around the county."
I'm the same. I'd do Feb to November with December and January off. But our manager and other mentors think that's too long. We start training middle/end of February and we won't be finished until mid October this year. A particular annoyance this year is that the gap between the League and finals has ended up being 6 weeks. Another issue flagged up with extending the club season later is that encroaches on the schools GAA calendar. Our lads are playing Rackard League, secondary school competitions are in full swing, I was even up in Rathnure on Tuesday for a mini sevens competition, 1 of the games at which we lost on account of a teacher in another school who can't count, but I degress!!
Personally going into the meeting I was thinking the season should be extended, but now I'm thinking if every clubs u8s, u10s and u12s were back early February for training, and training sessions at these age groups got standardised as 1 and a half hours twice a week, with a match weekly from late March until finals at the beginning of September that would be a big improvement over what we have currently, with many clubs only training an hour once a week currently, so effectively only 1 hour a fortnight of football training, and the same hurling training, which frankly is pathetic and nowhere near enough. In other words rather than lengthening the season at both ends, lengthen it at the start, and make it more intensive and beneficial when it is actually on. And obviously try to encourage lads to do an hour a day practice at the grounds or at home every day when training isn't on.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 15:10:16    2507067

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Replying To james2011:  "The GPO new model was presented on an online presentation some weeks back. It wasnt a case clubs dont avail of it, it was more a case they prioritised some clubs over others and availability wasnt there for all. In my view, it was creating a massive imbalance by having this system the way it was. Clubs dying on their feet, particularly rurally, but they were making sure the town clubs and more populated ones were getting further assistance. We should all just forget about football anyway and play in the dead of winter and leave all the summer to play the hurling."
I know our local GPO and he said told me very few teams got him to give a session this year. He gave our u12s 2 one and a half hour sessions in a month in the middle of summer on account of this, and would have done more if Id've asked him.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 15:12:37    2507068

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Replying To james2011:  "The GPO new model was presented on an online presentation some weeks back. It wasnt a case clubs dont avail of it, it was more a case they prioritised some clubs over others and availability wasnt there for all. In my view, it was creating a massive imbalance by having this system the way it was. Clubs dying on their feet, particularly rurally, but they were making sure the town clubs and more populated ones were getting further assistance. We should all just forget about football anyway and play in the dead of winter and leave all the summer to play the hurling."
A passionate hurling man from not far from me proposed just that at the meeting ;-)

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 15:13:35    2507069

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Replying To Pikeman96:  "Would be disappointed myself with the attitude of "box ticking exercise" when you consider what the intentions of the meetings are, and the importance of feedback/suggestions/etc.

Also disappointed at such opposition to the notion of extending the playing year at Go Games level (U8 & U10) in particular.

We have a Go Games programme that runs from approx. mid-April to mid-September. Most clubs don't start training for those age groups until the clocks change at the end of March. So at best, that's just five and a half months to cover two sports.

And considering there's a push for clubs to give a 50/50 split to football and hurling, and some people even get upset at the notion that one or the other mightn't be getting close to 50%, that means less than three months worth of hurling and less than three months worth of football for boys in their real formative years.

Conversely, if the same boys play soccer or rugby, their season starts at beginning around September and probably runs all the way through to May before finishing - that's eight months for just one sport.

Main reason for the opposition to extending the season seems to be coaches saying "we put in enough time already", but if underage rugby or soccer coaches can put in eight months of the year, why can't underage GAA coaches do the same?

And before anybody says "easy for you to say", or "put your money where your mouth is" - I've spent the last few years coaching at Go Games level in my own club, and I'd be all in favour of starting earlier in the year and finishing later. You could even work around those other sports - e.g. Sunday mornings wouldn't interfere with underage soccer. You could also explore the option of midweek events in the suitable venues around the county."
Firstly I agree extending the season is the way to go but just for clarity the soccer season is 8-9 months but there generally would be alot of inactivity over the winter months with wet conditions leading to alot of cancellations, also I'd say there would be a break over Xmas the guts of a month regardless of the weather.

TerribleFootwork (Wexford) - Posts: 1509 - 05/10/2023 15:23:12    2507070

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Replying To TerribleFootwork:  "Firstly I agree extending the season is the way to go but just for clarity the soccer season is 8-9 months but there generally would be alot of inactivity over the winter months with wet conditions leading to alot of cancellations, also I'd say there would be a break over Xmas the guts of a month regardless of the weather."
Yes, but even allowing for some dates lost to bad weather, the boys are still going to have a weekly schedule of either a training session and a match, or else two training sessions in a week when they don't have a match.

And apart from what's actually a two-week break for Christmas in the club where my own young lad plays soccer, they have that schedule every week for about eight months. In the GAA club, they only have it for about five and a half months.

Also, don't forget that in a summer like we've just had, losing hurling or football matches to bad weather during July & August isn't beyond the bounds of possibility either. We lost games at both U8 and U10 levels this year.

People talk about the danger of losing kids to soccer because there are no All-Ireland Finals on TV in September when the Premier League etc. is on, but to my mind, the real problem there is that we're not giving them enough hurling and football to play at that time of year. It's only natural that young boys of these ages will be more fascinated with a sport they can actually go out and play themselves. I really don't think TV coverage is the issue, because many boys of that age don't have the attention span to sit and watch a full match properly anyway.

By the way, I like a lot of what Viking says above, but I'd just point out that specifically in relation to the Go Games ages, extending the season wouldn't cause crossover with schools matches. 90% or more of boys at U10 level are no further along in school than Fourth Class, and generally speaking, unless it's just a small school, 90% or more of Rackard League players are in at least Fifth Class.

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2155 - 05/10/2023 15:57:01    2507074

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Replying To Viking66:  "I know our local GPO and he said told me very few teams got him to give a session this year. He gave our u12s 2 one and a half hour sessions in a month in the middle of summer on account of this, and would have done more if Id've asked him."
To be honest, a GPO should not be there to coach teams. A GPO should be there to help put structures in place and make the club sustainable. If a GPO starts coaching teams, you will find clubs getting lazy and not contributing. The GPO should be able to improve coaching standards and increase participation levels through schools input. This is what will improve the club. A session here and there for a change of voice and for coaches to learn off is good, but thats all that should be for.

james2011 (Wexford) - Posts: 602 - 05/10/2023 15:58:43    2507075

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Replying To TerribleFootwork:  "Firstly I agree extending the season is the way to go but just for clarity the soccer season is 8-9 months but there generally would be alot of inactivity over the winter months with wet conditions leading to alot of cancellations, also I'd say there would be a break over Xmas the guts of a month regardless of the weather."
Also alot of the soccer teams around here only train once a week with a game once a fortnight. Half of what we were doing this summer.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 16:10:03    2507077

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Replying To Pikeman96:  "Yes, but even allowing for some dates lost to bad weather, the boys are still going to have a weekly schedule of either a training session and a match, or else two training sessions in a week when they don't have a match.

And apart from what's actually a two-week break for Christmas in the club where my own young lad plays soccer, they have that schedule every week for about eight months. In the GAA club, they only have it for about five and a half months.

Also, don't forget that in a summer like we've just had, losing hurling or football matches to bad weather during July & August isn't beyond the bounds of possibility either. We lost games at both U8 and U10 levels this year.

People talk about the danger of losing kids to soccer because there are no All-Ireland Finals on TV in September when the Premier League etc. is on, but to my mind, the real problem there is that we're not giving them enough hurling and football to play at that time of year. It's only natural that young boys of these ages will be more fascinated with a sport they can actually go out and play themselves. I really don't think TV coverage is the issue, because many boys of that age don't have the attention span to sit and watch a full match properly anyway.

By the way, I like a lot of what Viking says above, but I'd just point out that specifically in relation to the Go Games ages, extending the season wouldn't cause crossover with schools matches. 90% or more of boys at U10 level are no further along in school than Fourth Class, and generally speaking, unless it's just a small school, 90% or more of Rackard League players are in at least Fifth Class."
Agree but I was talking about the u12s.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 16:10:48    2507078

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Replying To james2011:  "To be honest, a GPO should not be there to coach teams. A GPO should be there to help put structures in place and make the club sustainable. If a GPO starts coaching teams, you will find clubs getting lazy and not contributing. The GPO should be able to improve coaching standards and increase participation levels through schools input. This is what will improve the club. A session here and there for a change of voice and for coaches to learn off is good, but thats all that should be for."
In fairness he's very active in the schools. But he could've done alot more with the clubs over the school summer holidays only he wasn't asked. And yes a change of voice and an opportunity for the coaches to learn something from him is exactly why teams should be asking him in.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 16:12:39    2507079

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Replying To james2011:  "To be honest, a GPO should not be there to coach teams. A GPO should be there to help put structures in place and make the club sustainable. If a GPO starts coaching teams, you will find clubs getting lazy and not contributing. The GPO should be able to improve coaching standards and increase participation levels through schools input. This is what will improve the club. A session here and there for a change of voice and for coaches to learn off is good, but thats all that should be for."
What I think should be done is something like this-
There are 49 clubs listed on the Wexford GAA website. Some of these don't have underage teams of their own at every grade, and some don't in both codes. So this should be overcosted as for the purposes of this I'm going to assume all 49 clubs have 6 teams, u10,u12,u14,u16, minor and u21 in both codes.
So you are talking about 294 teams in each code.
12 properly trained experienced coaches, maybe 3 per District, would visit all those teams the 1st time in 24- 25 nights. That would be doable over April/May 3 nights a week for 8 weeks. Of course some doubling up would be possible, with a coach being able to take a clubs u10s and u12s in consecutive hours on the same night for example, watching and advising those teams managers and mentors.
Another round of visits over 8 weeks then in August and September to check up on how the managers and mentors have been doing since the 1st visit. Allowing half hour travelling, and paying 40 euro an hour, you are talking 80 euro per session. So it will cost €94080 to visit every clubs underage team twice in a year for hurling. Or if another round of visits were penciled in for June and July, you are talking €141120. €282240 for both football and hurling. Although in reality it would cost quite a bit less, as amalgamations would only need 1 visit, and coaching/observing 2 teams at 1 club on the same night should be possible.
And some clubs don't have both hurling and football teams.
The 12 coaches in each code, 24 in all, would have to be top people from around the county, and ideally there should be 3 football men and 3 hurling men in each district.
They should all report to someone on the Board, so the Board can get updated on progress around the county.
All clubs should be advised that 2 training sessions a week should be the norm, and at the end of each of these all the players should be encouraged by managers and mentors to do as much practicing at home, at school or down at the club grounds as possible between training sessions. These should be the final words at all training sessions at all ages.
Alot of coaches are parents following kids up through the grades. They are done when their kids are. That's why it's important that this gets reeated annually. A sponsor/sponsors should be sought to help with the costs. A large company or companies whose target market is teenagers would be the place to start.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 05/10/2023 16:14:44    2507081

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@Viking - you've obviously put a lot of thought into that, and in an ideal world either that or something like it could be made happen, but I think there's a fairly significant practical difficulty -

You're looking for 24 "top people from around the county" to commit to travelling to clubs three nights a week for eight weeks at a time, at least twice per year (March/April and August/September), and possibly a third time (June/July).

Thing is, I don't think you'd find anywhere near 24 "top people" who aren't already fully committed to a club team or county team, and I don't think many would then also commit to the new sort of club coaching structure you're proposing.

Actually, come to think of it, it might even damage the level of coaching available to county development squads.

Say somebody is indeed a "top person" and hasn't yet committed some February to what they'll be doing that year. They have the choice of doing this club coaching role for 16 or 24 weeks and getting €40 per hour for it, or going with a development squad all season long and getting just about SFA. Easy to see how development squads might suffer.....

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2155 - 05/10/2023 23:19:29    2507101

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Replying To Pikeman96:  "@Viking - you've obviously put a lot of thought into that, and in an ideal world either that or something like it could be made happen, but I think there's a fairly significant practical difficulty -

You're looking for 24 "top people from around the county" to commit to travelling to clubs three nights a week for eight weeks at a time, at least twice per year (March/April and August/September), and possibly a third time (June/July).

Thing is, I don't think you'd find anywhere near 24 "top people" who aren't already fully committed to a club team or county team, and I don't think many would then also commit to the new sort of club coaching structure you're proposing.

Actually, come to think of it, it might even damage the level of coaching available to county development squads.

Say somebody is indeed a "top person" and hasn't yet committed some February to what they'll be doing that year. They have the choice of doing this club coaching role for 16 or 24 weeks and getting €40 per hour for it, or going with a development squad all season long and getting just about SFA. Easy to see how development squads might suffer....."
The development squad coaches should be paid too. They wouldn't have to be from the county but obviously it would be better if they were. Sorry to go over old ground but when the likes of Galway, Cork, Tipp, Limerick, Clare, Dublin and Kilkenny could get at least 2 and even 3 or 4 teams qualified for the Tony Forrestal this year while we couldn't even get one team qualified it doesn't say much for what we are doing between u10 and u14 as it is. Offaly also qualified for it.
As a mentor you too have probably also come across u10 and u12 teams managed and coached by enthusiastic amateur parents like me, some of which are only training once a week. Some of those young lads could be intercounty stars of the future and are slipping through the net on account of inadequate coaching not developing their skills properly. Or getting fed up and drifting away to other sports even. Some of these managers would be too proud to ask for help. It's a man thing. So they aren't ever going to get better with the current GPO model in place.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11240 - 06/10/2023 09:46:45    2507117

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Replying To Viking66:  "The development squad coaches should be paid too. They wouldn't have to be from the county but obviously it would be better if they were. Sorry to go over old ground but when the likes of Galway, Cork, Tipp, Limerick, Clare, Dublin and Kilkenny could get at least 2 and even 3 or 4 teams qualified for the Tony Forrestal this year while we couldn't even get one team qualified it doesn't say much for what we are doing between u10 and u14 as it is. Offaly also qualified for it.
As a mentor you too have probably also come across u10 and u12 teams managed and coached by enthusiastic amateur parents like me, some of which are only training once a week. Some of those young lads could be intercounty stars of the future and are slipping through the net on account of inadequate coaching not developing their skills properly. Or getting fed up and drifting away to other sports even. Some of these managers would be too proud to ask for help. It's a man thing. So they aren't ever going to get better with the current GPO model in place."
"Development squad coaches should be paid too" would be opening up a whole other financial can of worms!

Anyway, the other difficulty still remains, of where you'd get 24 top people to commit to the new idea, considering most or all of the top people are already busy with other commitments.

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2155 - 06/10/2023 11:21:07    2507133

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