2006–07 Sydney FC season

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Sydney FC
2006–2007 season
Chairman Walter Bugno,
George Perry
Manager Terry Butcher,
Branko Čulina
A-League 4th (League)
4th (Finals)
A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup 3rd
AFC Champions League Group stage (2nd)
Top goalscorer League: Sasho Petrovski (5 goals)
All: Sasho Petrovski (8 goals)
Highest home attendance 21,122 (v Newcastle United Jets, 26 January 2007)
Lowest home attendance 9,871 (v New Zealand Knights, 10 November 2006)

The 2006–07 season is Sydney FC's second season of soccer in Australia. Sydney FC contested in the 2006–07 A-League, and after winning the inaugural A-League Championship in 2005–06, competed in the 2007 AFC Champions League as one of Australia's two representatives.



After winning the A-League Championship in his first season with the club, head coach Pierre Littbarski signalled his intentions to remain with Sydney FC for the following season in April, whilst the club indicated that an "in-principle agreement" with Littbarski had been finalised.[1] In May 2006 however, it was revealed that Littbarski would not accept an estimated A$250,000 pay cut to his original contract and thus decided to leave Sydney FC.[2] Two months later, Sydney announced that they had agreed to terms with Motherwell F.C. manager and former England international Terry Butcher, who would sign a two-year deal.[3]

During the off-season, Sydney released Andrew Packer from the final year of his contract for him to return to his home state to play for Queensland Roar,[4] whilst signing Alex Brosque (Queensland – 3 years)[5] and Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand – 2 years).[6] 19-year-old Ruben Zadkovich, who was signed as short-term cover for Ufuk Talay late in the 2005–06 season, also upgraded to a two-year full-time contract with Sydney.[7] Matthew Bingley was released from the squad due to salary cap restrictions.

Pre-Season Challenge Cup[edit]

Group Stage[edit]

Sydney FC playing Newcastle United at Canberra Stadium

The group stage of the A-League pre-season cup saw Sydney drawn with Queensland Roar FC, Newcastle United Jets and the New Zealand Knights, whilst in the "bonus round" they would face Perth Glory. Sydney decided to host their two "home" matches during the group stage in Canberra (vs Newcastle) and Wollongong (vs Perth), as well as a match in Campbelltown in the final rounds of the competition.[8] Sydney's first match for 2006–07 was against Queensland, and featured the debut of former Queensland player Alex Brosque, as well as Nikolai Topor-Stanley, a short-term signing to cover injury to defender Jacob Timpano. Brosque scored the winning goal for Sydney against his old club with three minutes remaining. Sydney went to the top of the group with a 2–1 win over Newcastle, Topor-Stanley scoring just three minutes into his debut starting appearance, and the Jets' only goal coming from Sydney player Terry McFlynn. A scoreless draw away to New Zealand sealed Sydney's place in the semi-finals,[9] with the "bonus round" against Perth Glory still to play. Sydney won the match 3–0, picking up two bonus points and easily finishing on top of Group B with 12 points to each other teams' three.

Knockout stages[edit]

Sydney were drawn against Adelaide United, 2nd-placed finishers in group A, in their semi-final, which was held in Wollongong. Adelaide scored first through Travis Dodd, but a goal from David Carney two minutes before half-time levelled the scores. A red card to Alvin Ceccoli for "foul and abusive language"[10] towards referee Mark Shield after the end of the first half left the hosts with ten men for the remainder, and although Sydney managed to create several chances, Adelaide ultimately came out on top with a goal to Kristian Rees in the final minute of the match. The result left Sydney to play-off with Newcastle for third place in the competition.

The 3rd-place playoff was contested in Campbelltown in south-western Sydney. Injuries and representative duties for several of Sydney's regular players handed Terry Butcher the opportunity to give game time to backup goalkeeper Justin Pasfield, as well as trial uncontracted players such as Nikolas Tsattalios, Jason Naidovski and Steven Bozinovski.[11] Goals to Sasho Petrovski and Mark Rudan saw Sydney win the match 2–0 and take third place in the Pre-Season Cup.

Regular Season[edit]

Sydney FC's 2006–07 A-League season campaign began with a rematch against their 2005–06 Grand Final opponents, the Central Coast Mariners. Over 19,000 people turned out to see an Iain Fyfe goal seal the contest for Sydney, while goalkeeper kept a clean sheet with two especially excellent saves keeping Sydney in the match.[12] Sydney's following match was the first played at Melbourne's Telstra Dome – a decision made because Melbourne's regular home ground of Olympic Park was unavailable,[13] but allowed an A-League record attendance of almost 40,000 to see the match. After just 13 minutes, Sydney were behind 2–0 to Melbourne, with captain Mark Rudan having been sent off for retaliation. Coach Terry Butcher praised the "spirit" of the Sydney team as they outscored Melbourne for the remainder of the match,[14] but Sydney could not level the scores as Melbourne took the match 3–2. Two days before the Melbourne match it was confirmed that Sydney FC's marquee player Dwight Yorke would be leaving the club for English Championship team Sunderland for a reported £200,000 transfer fee.[15] Whilst Yorke still had one season remaining on his original contract with Sydney, the club were not committed to extending his contract and could not compete with the salary rise offered by Sunderland.[16]

With two draws and a win in their following three matches leaving them sitting in third position after five rounds, Sydney welcomed the arrival of Italian Benito Carbone for a four-match "guest stint".[17] The 35-year-old had an instant impact, setting up goals for Ruben Zadkovich and Sasho Petrovski before scoring one of his own as Sydney ran away 4–1 winners over rivals Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium. The performance had Carbone touted as a possible marquee replacement for Dwight Yorke,[18] but a management re-shuffle, which saw chairman Walter Bugno replaced by Edmund Capon and CEO Tim Parker by George Perry, forced Sydney to focus on financial stability in their second season and eventually led to the loss of Carbone.[19] Carbone's final appearance for Sydney, in an away match against the Central Coast, was the first in a string of four consecutive matches in which Sydney scored an early goal but failed to win the match. The run coincided with a large injury list for Sydney, travelling to Newcastle with a squad of just 13 players despite the return of Matthew Bingley on a short-term contract.[20] The return of David Carney, however, saw a 4–0 win over the New Zealand Knights, which sparked a streak of six matches in which Sydney conceded just one goal. This gave Sydney a run of eight matches undefeated heading into the Christmas break, where they sat second on the ladder.

Sydney began the 2007 year well, with a 2–0 away win over the Newcastle Jets on New Year's Day. The result ensured that Sydney retained second position and their one-point margin over Adelaide United on the table despite the deduction of three points due to salary cap breaches. In the following match, against New Zealand, Sydney's run of 542 minutes without conceding a goal came to an end, as did their nine-match unbeaten streak. A 1–0 loss to Adelaide in the penultimate round dropped Sydney to third position, and following Newcastle's 4–0 win over Melbourne in the first match of the final round, left Sydney needing to secure at least a point against Queensland Roar in order to finish in the top four. They did so, earning a 1–1 draw and thus scraping into the finals on goal difference ahead of Queensland.

Salary cap breaches[edit]

It was revealed in late 2004, shortly after the launch of the A-League, that the competition's salary cap rules included unrestricted concessions for "service agreements" – off-field earnings from sponsors to players in return for additional services. Then-chairman Walter Bugno confirmed that Sydney would be including service agreements in players' contracts, but denied that Sydney had contravened any rules regarding salaries whilst speculation mounted that Sydney had already exceeded the salary cap and the FFA announced a zero tolerance policy for breaches in the area.[21] During the 2006–07 season, the FFA announced that Sydney had been found guilty of salary cap breaches regarding the 2005–06 season. Although the FFA would not divulge the nature of the breach, Sydney CEO Tim Parker attributed it to Sydney's unexpectedly heavy schedule which saw them play in the 2005 Oceania Club Championship, 2005 FIFA Club World Championship and the A-League finals series – preventing players from completing the additional services for which they were paid.[22] Sydney were fined $89,000 and penalised one competition point, but the fine was reduced to $44,000 and the point penalty suspended due to the Sydney FC administration's co-operation with FFA investigations.

One month after the initial penalty, in September 2006, it was announced that the FFA would again be investigating alleged discrepancies regarding the contract of a Sydney FC player.[23] The investigation concluded that Sydney had committed multiple breaches of the player contracting regulations: "an undisclosed payment made to a player, pre-payments from the club to players and payments made by the club to agents of the players", all of which should have been, but were not included in Sydney's declaration of player payments for 2005–06. FFA Management assessed that the severity of the breaches warranted a $259,000 fine for Sydney as well as a penalty of three competition points, but this was again reduced in consideration of Sydney's co-operation with the investigation. Sydney's final penalty was a $129,000 fine along with the deduction of three competition points (including the activation of the one point suspended penalty from the earlier breach), with a suspended automatic one point penalty should Sydney be found to be in breach of contracting regulations in 2006–07 or 2007–08.[24] Sydney "reluctantly accepted" the decision and elected not to appeal the penalty,[25] which left them still in second position with three premiership rounds remaining, but their gap back to Adelaide United was reduced to a single point.

Post season[edit]

Following the completion of the A-League season, Terry Butcher resigned as Sydney FC coach.[26] He was replaced by Branko Culina, who was appointed as interim coach for the club's AFC Champions League campaign on 13 February 2007.[27]

Friendly matches[edit]

As part of Sydney's ACL campaign, a number of friendly matches were arranged against local clubs, and a match against the Malaysian national team. These matches were generally a part of preparations for upcoming ACL matches (as Australian clubs are not playing as regularly as other Asian domestic leagues) and also to build connections with the NSW football community.

Asian Champions League[edit]

As 2005–06 Champions, Sydney qualified for the 2007 AFC Champions League as one of the two teams representing Australia along with 2005–06 League Premiers, Adelaide United. The draw took place in Kuala Lumpur on 22 December 2006. Sydney were placed into Group E along with J.League 2006 Champions Urawa Reds, Chinese Super League 2006 Runners-up Shanghai Shenhua and Liga Indonesia 2005–06 Champions Persik Kediri.

Group matches were played from March to May 2007, each team playing each other at home and away. Sydney made an impressive start, defeating Shanghai away and holding Urawa to a draw at Aussie Stadium. A shock loss to Persik in Indonesia was followed up by a 3–0 win in Sydney two weeks later, but disappointing scoreless draws in the final two matches against Shanghai and Urawa meant Sydney finished second in their group and Urawa progressed to the next stage.



Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Clint Bolton
2 Australia DF Iain Fyfe
3 Australia DF Alvin Ceccoli
3 Australia DF Nikolas Tsattalios
4 Australia DF Mark Rudan (captain)
5 Australia MF Noel Spencer
6 Australia MF Ufuk Talay
7 Australia MF Robbie Middleby
8 Australia MF Ruben Zadkovich
9 Australia FW David Zdrilic
10 Australia MF Steve Corica
11 Australia FW Sasho Petrovski
12 Australia MF David Carney
13 New Zealand FW Jeremy Brockie
14 Australia FW Alex Brosque
No. Position Player
15 Northern Ireland MF Terry McFlynn
16 Australia DF Mark Milligan
17 Australia DF Jacob Timpano
18 Australia FW Adam Casey
19 Trinidad and Tobago FW Dwight Yorke
19 Australia FW Luka Glavas
20 Australia GK Justin Pasfield
21 Australia DF Nikolai Topor-Stanley
22 Australia MF Matthew Bingley (short term contract)
23 Italy MF Benito Carbone (guest player)
24 Ivory Coast FW Jonas Salley (short term contract)
27 Australia MF Joel Theissen (short term contract)
28 Australia MF Tallan Martin (short term contract)
30 Australia GK Dean Bouzanis (on loan from Liverpool F.C.)

Transfers In[edit]

Player From Fee Date Contract length
Australia Alex Brosque Australia Queensland Roar FC 11 February 2006 3 years[5]
Australia Ruben Zadkovich Australia Sydney FC
(promoted from short-term deal)
5 March 2006 2 years[7]
New Zealand Jeremy Brockie New Zealand New Zealand Knights FC 16 March 2006 2 years[6]
Australia Adam Casey New Zealand New Zealand Knights FC 30 January 2007 2 years[28][29]
Australia Dean Bouzanis England Liverpool F.C. (on loan) 4 February 2007 to Jan 2008[30]
Australia Nikolai Topor-Stanley Australia Sydney FC
(promoted from short-term deal)
13 February 2007 4 months (ACL)
Australia Noel Spencer Australia Central Coast Mariners 13 February 2007 6 months[31]
Australia Nikolas Tsattalios Australia NSW Institute of Sport 13 February 2007 4 months (ACL)[32]
Australia Luka Glavas Australia Perth Glory 13 February 2007 4 months (ACL)[32][33]

Transfers Out[edit]

Player To Fee Date Notes
Australia Matthew Bingley Released
United States Alejandro Salazar Contract was not renewed -
Australia Steve Laurie Released -
Australia Andrew Packer Australia Queensland Roar FC 23 March 2006 Released early from two-year contract[4]
Trinidad and Tobago Dwight Yorke England Sunderland AFC A$500,000[34] 31 August 2006 Released early from two-year contract[16]
Australia Sasho Petrovski Australia Central Coast Mariners 12 February 2007 Released early (contract to end April 2007)[35]
Australia Wade Oostendorp Released
Australia Alvin Ceccoli Japan Avispa Fukuoka 16 February 2007 Released[36]
New Zealand Jeremy Brockie Released 6 March 2007 Released early for personal reasons[37]

Short-term signings[edit]

Player From Fee Start date End date Reason
Australia Nikolai Topor-Stanley Australia Manly United FC 7 July 2006 24 November 2006 Injury cover for Jacob Timpano and Ruben Zadkovich[38][39]
Australia Matthew Bingley Australia Hamilton Olympic 5 September 2006 5 November 2006 Injury cover for Robbie Middleby[20]
Australia Joel Theissen 7 September 2006 30 October 2006 Injury cover for David Carney[40]
Italy Benito Carbone Unattached 28 September 2006 17 October 2006 Four-match "guest stint", released early due to injury[41]
Australia Tallan Martin Australia Sydney United 17 January 2007 26 January 2007 Two-match contract to cover for Jeremy Brockie (international duty with New Zealand).[42]
Australia Nikolai Topor-Stanley 18 January 2007 2 February 2007 Injury cover for Jacob Timpano.[43]
Ivory Coast Jonas Salley New Zealand New Zealand Knights FC 31 January 2007 2 February 2007 Injury cover for Terry McFlynn for remainder of finals series.[44]

Team kit[edit]

Sydney retained playing strip from the previous season, supplied by Reebok, and shirt sponsorship with Healthe continued. The home and away strips were modified for the club's Asian Champions League campaign in early 2007, adding a gold trim for the tournament.

2006–07 home colours
2006–07 away colours
2006–07 goalkeeper




Competition Started round Final
position / round
First match Last match
Pre-season Challenge Cup Rounds 3rd 15 July 2006 19 August 2006
A-League 4th 27 August 2006 20 January 2007
A-League Finals Series Semi-finals Semi-finalists 26 January 2006 2 February 2007
AFC Champions League Group stage Group stage 7 March 2007 23 May 2007

Pre-Season Challenge Cup[edit]

Group table[edit]

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA
Sydney FC 12 4 3 1 0 7 2
Newcastle Jets 3 4 0 2 2 4 6
New Zealand Knights 1 3 4 0 3 1 2 3
Queensland Roar 1 3 4 0 3 1 2 3


22 July 2006
Sydney FC 2–1 Newcastle United Jets
N.Topor-Stanley 3'
R.Middleby 25'
(Report) T.McFlynn 68' (og)
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 7,226
Referee: Ben Williams

29 July 2006
New Zealand Knights FC 0–0 Sydney FC
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Attendance: 3,121
Referee: Peter O'Leary

6 August 2006
Sydney FC 3–0 Perth Glory FC
A.Brosque 26', 27'
S.Petrovski 57'
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 6,634
Referee: Srebre Delovski



11 August 2006
Sydney FC 1–2 Adelaide United FC
D.Carney 43' (Report) T.Dodd 16'
K.Rees 90'
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 4,210
Referee: Mark Shield

3rd-Place Playoff

19 August 2006
Sydney FC 2–0 Newcastle United Jets
S.Petrovski 43'
M.Rudan 68'
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 5,326
Referee: Srebre Delovski


League table[edit]

Team Pld
Qualification or relegation
1 Melbourne Victory (C) 21 14 3 4 41 20 +21 45 2008 AFC Champions League Group stage
2 Adelaide United 21 10 3 8 32 27 +5 33
3 Newcastle Jets 21 8 6 7 32 30 +2 30 2007 A-League Finals Series
4 Sydney FC 21 8 8 5 29 19 +10 0291
5 Queensland Roar 21 8 5 8 25 27 −2 29
6 Central Coast Mariners 21 6 6 9 22 26 −4 24
7 Perth Glory 21 5 5 11 24 30 −6 20
8 New Zealand Knights 21 5 4 12 13 39 −26 19 Disbanded at end of season and were replaced

Updated to games played on 21 January 2007
Source: theworldgame.sbs.com.au
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
1Sydney FC were penalised three competition points following round 18 due to salary cap breaches which occurred during the 2005–06 season.
2First place through to fourth place qualify for the 2007 A-League Finals Series.
3First place qualifies for the 2008 AFC Champions League Group stage.
4Winning the 2007 A-League Grand Final earns qualification for the 2008 AFC Champions League Group stage, unless the Grand Final winners are also first place, in which case the Grand Final runner up qualifies.
5New Zealand Knights cannot qualify for the 2008 AFC Champions League as they are not recognised as an AFC club.


Round 1

27 August 2006
Sydney FC 1–0 Central Coast Mariners FC
I.Fyfe 52' (Report)  
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 19,274
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 2

2 September 2006
Melbourne Victory 3–2 Sydney FC
D.Allsopp 8', 51'
K.Muscat 11' (pen)
(Report) I.Fyfe 18'
R.Vargas 83' (og)
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 39,730
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 3

10 September 2006
Perth Glory FC 1–1 Sydney FC
J.Coyne 71' (Report) S.Petrovski 38'
Members Equity Stadium, Perth
Attendance: 8,052
Referee: Simon Przydacz

Round 4

17 September 2006
Sydney FC 2–2 Newcastle United Jets
S.Corica 33' (pen)
D.Zdrilic 38'
(Report) M.Rodriguez 45+1', 62'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 15,488
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 5

21 September 2006
New Zealand Knights FC 0–1 Sydney FC
  (Report) M.Rudan 58'
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Attendance: 2,764
Referee: Ben Williams

Round 6

2 October 2006
Adelaide United FC 1–4 Sydney FC
N.Burns 54' (Report) R.Zadkovich 36'
T.Dodd 57' (og)
S.Petrovski 80'
B.Carbone 85'
Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Attendance: 15,119
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 7

8 October 2006
Sydney FC 1–1 Queensland Roar FC
A.Ceccoli 45+1' (Report) S.Dilevski 15'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 17,274
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 8

13 October 2006
Central Coast Mariners FC 3–1 Sydney FC
D.Mori 53', 90'
P.O'Grady 40'
(Report) B.Carbone 12'
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 11,567
Referee: Simon Przydacz

Round 9

21 October 2006
Sydney FC 1–2 Melbourne Victory FC
S.Corica 9' (Report) A.Thompson 50', 73'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 20,881
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 10

29 October 2006
Sydney FC 1–1 Perth Glory FC
D.Zdrilic 15' (Report) L.Glavas 75'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 12,316
Referee: Ben Williams

Round 11

4 November 2006
Newcastle United Jets 1–1 Sydney FC
T.Brown 86' (Report) D.Zdrilic 14'
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Attendance: 8,493
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 12

10 November 2006
Sydney FC 4–0 New Zealand Knights FC
S.Petrovski 37', 53'
D.Zdrilic 65'
D.Carney 89'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 9,871
Referee: Angelo Nardi

Round 13

19 November 2006
Sydney FC 2–1 Adelaide United FC
U.Talay 15' (pen)
M.Rudan 22'
(Report) R.Aloisi 9'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 14,308
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 14

24 November 2006
Sydney FC 3–0 Queensland Roar FC
U.Talay 23' (pen)
S.Corica 64'
R.Middleby 89'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 12,718
Referee: Ben Williams

Round 15

3 December 2006
Central Coast Mariners FC 0–0 Sydney FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 12,457
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 16

8 December 2006
Melbourne Victory 0–0 Sydney FC
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 50,333
Referee: Mark Shield

Round 17

14 December 2006
Sydney FC 1–0 Perth Glory FC
A.Brosque 80' (Report)  
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 11,816
Referee: Simon Przydacz

Round 18

1 January 2007
Newcastle United Jets 0–2 Sydney FC
  (Report) A.Brosque 46'
S.Petrovski 90+1'
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Attendance: 20,980
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 19

7 January 2007
Sydney FC 0–1 New Zealand Knights FC
  (Report) C.Bunce 11'
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 16,040
Referee: Simon Przydacz

Round 20

14 January 2007
Adelaide United FC 1–0 Sydney FC
Fernando 89' (Report)  
Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Attendance: 14,704
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Round 21

20 January 2007
Queensland Roar FC 1–1 Sydney FC
D.Mori 20' (Report) A.Brosque 13'
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 32,371
Referee: Mark Shield

Finals series[edit]

Having finished fourth overall, Sydney are played third-placed Newcastle United Jets in a two-legged sudden-death match for the chance to progress to the preliminary final. Despite winning the first leg 2–1, Sydney lost the return game 2–0, losing 3–2 on aggregate and being eliminated from the finals series.

Minor Semi-Final Leg 1

26 January 2007
Sydney FC 2–1 Newcastle United Jets
Alex Brosque 15'
Mark Milligan 30';
Milton Rodriguez 71';
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 21,122
Referee: Peter Green

Minor Semi-Final Leg 2

2 February 2007
Newcastle United Jets 2–0 Sydney FC
Joel Griffiths 57'
Vaughan Coveny 71';
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Attendance: 24,338
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Post-Season Friendlies[edit]

21 February 2007
Sutherland Sharks 1–1 Sydney FC
Jimmy Lawrence (Report) Alex Brosque

28 February 2007
Blacktown City Demons 0–2 Sydney FC
(Report) David Carney
Iain Fyfe

14 March 2007
Wollongong Wolves 2–3 Sydney FC
Ballamodou Conde
Josh Swinton
(Report) David Zdrilic
Michael Enfield
Luka Glavas

4 April 2007
Marconi Stallions 0–3 Sydney FC
(Report) Nikolai Topor-Stanley
Luka Glavas
Adam Casey

18 April 2007
Bankstown City Lions 1–2 Sydney FC
Nahuel Arrarte (Report) Alex Brosque
David Carney
Jensen Oval, Sydney
Attendance: ~3,000

2 May 2007
Penrith Nepean United 2–2 Sydney FC
Danny Wells (pen)
Brad Boardman
(Report) David Zdrillic (2)
CUA Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: ~4,000


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