Rochford extends to 2020

Photo: Independent.ie

It was widely known that an announcement about Stephen Rochford’s future as Mayo manager was expected this week and all the noises in advance pointed to the likelihood that he would be staying on. There was, though, no indication that he’d be willing to extend his tenure in the post so this evening’s confirmation from Mayo GAA that he’s agreed to remain on until 2020 comes as a pleasant surprise.

Here’s the official announcement from Mayo GAA:

This is obviously great news, not just for our prospects in 2018 but also because of the stability it provides into the medium-term, at a time when we’re likely to see substantial turnover on the player side.

The one issue left to sort – and it’s a significant one – is the make-up of Stephen’s backroom team. Most focus in this regard is on key lieutenants Donie Buckley and Tony McEntee and hopefully it’ll be confirmed soon that they’ll be on board with the manager for the coming year at least. Fingers crossed in that respect.

At tonight’s County Board meeting it was also announced that Kiltimagh’s Tomás Morley has been appointed manager of the county’s U17 (i.e. minor) team for next year. The very best of luck to him in the role.

76 thoughts on “Rochford extends to 2020

  1. Nice to get that confirmed for a couple of years. Hopefully the back room team won’t be all that different next year also.

  2. Great news about such an important juncture for this group.
    Would imagine most of the players will now too except Dillon

  3. Well that’s settled then, now get Donie signed up ASAP and Tony as well, but Donnie is crucial to Mayo, best in the country by a stretch, we lucky to have him. Now let’s get on and win this thing, Maigheabu

  4. I’d let out one of those incoherent yells if I could get the proper word down.

    So let’s just say – very pleased.

  5. I do rate Rochford and it’s good news. However, the one genuine criticism of him would have to be not having tried enough young players in the league. That has to change for next year’s league….and it’s not just forwards.

    He’s quite conservative in his selections e.g. his subs are generally late in matches and you could almost guess them before the game. In the hammering of Rcommon in August Kirby and Nally were only brought on with a few minutes left……considering the lead we had at HT they should have been given greater time.

    We badly need a specialist full-back and young athletic midfielder to come through.

  6. The news we’ve all been waiting for with bated breath. Stephen is still only young and it seems has learned more with each passing campaign. Managerial talent of that calibre is like hen’s teeth. Delighted. Looking forward to 2018 with great optimism now.

  7. Delighted with the news, continuity for the team is vital at this time and the extra two years whether he completes them or not does give him some breathing space. I am of the opinion though that in those close matches when games are there to be won, another cool head on the sideline might be needed to get us over the line. For now, though we can look forward to 2018 with renewed confidence of another good run in the Championship.

  8. Good post from Spotlight. I too hope that we see a good run of young lads for fbd and NFL.
    theres a bunch of them that would surely add to the setup and maybe one of them will be missing link.

  9. spring in my step this morning,delighted with last night’s announcement,
    have to say for me it was a massive sigh of relief,fingers crossed the backroom lads complete the good news scenario ,january wont be long coming around,i cant wait to get on the road again,
    on reflection 2017 was a magic year to be following this amazing bunch of lads, and indeed the last few years have been up there too ,the back door was mentally draining,heart attack stuff at times,but we had some many brilliant days out,obviously the one thing i would change is the outcome in september , but that’s over now
    time to look forward- 2018 here we come..
    C’Mon Mayo 🙂

  10. Agree Sean Burke but indications are that Solan won’t play much part – it was in some media report:, maybe Mike Finnerty. The S&C of the players is phenomenal, but Rochy may be looking further afield there.

  11. Delighted that Stephen has given this committment to the Mayo team. I agree with other posters that Donnie and Tony are vital. Solan plays a huge part as well that cannot be underestimated. Two years ago I was one of the doubting Thomas on this appointment. In the 2 years since Stephen took over I have watched this group of players play the football of their lives. In 2017 from Kiltoom to McHale Park and Monaghan, all the way around this country back to Croker and September v the Dubs. In between these 2 points we have watched this Mayo team play the best football ever. Good defending, great scores taken, and high fielding and great foot passing. As good as the Dubs or Kerry ever produced. Did I ever think I would be able to say that, not a chance. Is it any wonder we are all excited about the new season. One point about young players making the team. First of all lets not forget Brendan, Conor L, Patrick, DOC, COS, Fergal. and Stephen, with others in the pipeline. In a regime where the bar continues to rise the question we should be asking is why some of the more mature players who have been given an opportunity have not forced their way on to the team by this point. The manager just needs to know he can trust a player to do a job for him. Any manager worth his salt will always pick from the top of the list. Its up to those who have the chance to work on their position within the list and the group.

  12. Great news and even better that there is 2 years added as it demonstrates commitment from both Rochford and the County Board to work together for the next few years.

    Spotlight – I think it’s been posted before about how many young players were tried or had game time. You might be pleasantly surprised as to how many got a run out. Our League campaign wasn’t great and the defeat to Cavan meant we were in must win Territory for the last 2 games. I would agree that we need to be blooding some youngsters, and I would hope that Rochie does a bit more of this in 2018.
    His substitutions were criticised a lot but to be fair if you look back at the games the subs made were perhaps the right decisions at the right stages of the games. Bringing subs on late might have been a lesson learned from the game against Cork when Chris Barrett was perhaps taken off too early.

    Anyway – onwards and upwards for 2018 and beyond, and Up Mayo.

  13. I think the reason, PJMcManus, why ‘the more mature’ players have not forced their way on is by turning the question around.

    How and why have the really mature players not fallen by the wayside?

    How the hell is Andy Moran still on that team? How the hell did he go from the role we had all assigned him, about 3 years ago – bit player, impact sub, ten minute man, to absolute superstar, player of the year in waiting? Because he’s so damn good that’s why. Think of all the wonder points he has scored. I think it was that eejit Canning who observed after one of his impossible points a couple of years ago – ‘I don’t think he meant that’! And then think of Evan Regan trying to establish himself against that quality of ‘opponent’ for his place. To Andy add Keith (what a performer), Clarkey, and Boyler, Just look at Chris Barrett and the season he has had, when he got a clear injury-free run. Seamie got better as the championship progressed. What about ‘fringe’ player Barry Moran, hampered by an Achilles all year? Well he was head and shoulders above all others in the county final and scored 3 brilliant points into the bargain. Jason Doherty isn’t a veteran but he’s around for a while now and boy did he deliver – remember how he stepped up after Cillian was black carded against Kerry?

    So the bar for the wannabes is frighteningly high. And when they dislodge any or all of the above, we’ll know how good they are.

  14. Great news onwards and upwards now.looking forward to fbd and national league to see a few new faces and how they get on.
    Any one know when the review into underage age coaching and structures by Liam Horan and Martin Carney be published?

  15. Maybe losing a final isn’t a bad thing. I seen photos of Ballyragets celebrations. Talk about ruined!!

  16. What’s going on here? Only 23 posts on Rochy’s extension? Ok a few more under Aido, but still.

    Is everyone away or are you keeping a great horde in moderation Willie Joe?

  17. They’re all away, Catcol! Only a minuscule 140k page views so far this month. Last month it was over 400k. Kinda glad, to be honest, that people have other stuff to be thinking about at this time of year.

  18. Never, Willie Joe!

    It’s the go-to spot for anything that’s happening in Mayo GAA. Even snuck a look every night when I was in Berlin a couple of weeks ago, in spite of the multiple attractions of that great city. Same for London a week earlier!

  19. Great news Deserves great credit for carrying on. Now we can really start to prepare for next year.

  20. Catcol I agree with your points and perhaps you have articulated them better. We all want to see new faces but the bar is rising season on season. However we should not pay too much attention to the comparison between club and county. Its chalk and cheese as far as I am concerned

  21. Great news all around between Aidan in charge downunder and Stephen staying in charge up here. Really looking forward to 2018 now and to what SR and Co. will bring. Will there be a cull of sorts early on and a few fellas walk away or is it all hands on deck and see who’s left standing by summer? The pasts’ the past and one thing is for sure Mayo are going to be in it all the way for ’18 and beyond. YIPPEE!!

  22. Hats off to Stephen,
    He has a young family and he has put down two very different yet difficult years as a team struggling through the qualifiers are always in the crosshairs of the ditch top all knowing prophets. The qualifiers have proved to be a pitch minefield for many very able manager, they are strange games and will either kill or cure a team.

    I have always liked Rochford and I like the way that he is willing to do the exceptional even the precieved “unthinkable” to achieve an individual critical balance. This man has played a rediculous game of chicken with the very unforgiving reputation bus and for that I salute him. The opinions of the wise support team that surrounds him are important and perhaps provided the few grains of rice that encouraged Rochford to walk out onto glass overhang and reach for Sam Maguire this year but in 2027 their names will not be proceeded or followed by that f###ing fool when the alcohol induced or all wise GAA supporters exchanges identify the actual reason why ye came up short in a particular game or campaign.

    Christ I have gone on a bit , sorry. Point I was trying to make is that he is ballsy and willing to do what others simply wouldn’t, in 2017 he turned a few lucky cards and fortune favours the brave. now that’s a man I’d like to be leading my team..
    As I said hats off and fair play to him, Brave

  23. @ Aiden,
    No I don’t think the Martin Carney and Liam Horan review has been published yet.
    But the selection of Tomas Morley for the Minor (U17) job is almost as important as Stephen being ratified.
    He is the perfect man for the job, and hopefully with the backing of the county board and the help of the review committee put a plan in place to get the best out of our underperforming under age structure.

  24. My view on the underage is that after the 2013 injuries in 2014 we took a much less intensive approach in 15/16/17.
    Galway and Roscommon, Kerry and Tyrone put the boot to the floor.
    Now athletically all this advantage they have on us at 17 does not matter. Lets see where the power lies next year at u20. Go through the senior club names and we have an in form and injury free list of quality names.
    Johnny Maughan, Colm Moran, Brian OMalley, Conor Diskin, Matthew Macken, Jordan Flynn and Ross Egan. Those seven as a total are more impressive as u19s in my view than the best seven of the title winning 2013 team.
    In summary lets observe u20 next year, club football seems to indicate we are still producing quality footballers.

  25. Great news that Stephen has committed for a another three years. A serious decision on his part – not taken lightly, I’m sure. Season three of the “Rochford Files” now confirmed to air in early January. Onwards and upwards!

  26. Feel desperately sorry for Hanley as injury has prevented him ever having a real go out there.

    Would have to agree facetheball, if he does come home he’s an enormous addition to that squad. He was absolutely superb in the forward line for the minors and his professional conditioning for two years will only add to that.

  27. If Cian Hanley was let go because of injuries – then it is not a good sign for his possible ability to play intercounty football. Unless these injuries are not long term and can sorted out. I hope the injuries do clear up and he can give county football – if he is good enough and interested enough – a right go. If I can remember right – one thing that stood out for me was his composure on the ball and his awareness of players around him – very similar to Cillian O’ Connor.

  28. Good Luck to Stephen and the whole group for 2018.

    Hopefully we’ll make it a 3rd successive All Ireland appearance for the 1st time in our history.

    We’ve gone back to back in 50, 51: 96, 97: 12, 13 and 16, 17. Hope its back to back to back this time with the holy grail at the end of the coming campaign.

    Back to back All Ireland defeats have been followed with All Ireland Glory for a couple of Counties down through the years with the defeated team winning at the 3rd attempt.

    Wexford lost both the 1913 and 1914 finals before winning the 1st of a four in a row against Kerry in 1915.

    Cork of course got the better of us in 1989 after having lost the 1987 and 1988 finals.

    We have a great team and great management and great teams achieve great things. To reach a 3rd All Ireland in a row would be a great achievement. To win it would be the greatest feeling in the world I would imagine.

    Hon Mayo.

  29. I hope Cian Hanley does come back to Mayo and the GAA does their best to keep him here. Fully fit he would be a serious addition to the squad I’m not sure who you’d drop in the forwards after the all Ireland final display but imagine him coming off the bench on 50 minutes? Just on another point I think we need to relieve Cillian of the captaincy he’s struggling a bit for one reason or another. Maybe our Ireland captain could take on the role? If I was manager and had to pick a captain it would be Andy Moran even at 34 years of age I’d have no hesitation making him captain again

  30. Just because he was ” delisted” doesn’t mean he will leave Australian football. He may decide to stay and work on his game at a lower level to see how it goes.
    Alternatively, he may return to the rain and grey skies and chance his arm of being one of the fellas that finally won Sam. Ultimately it’s his choice, but there’s worse choices in life.

  31. That’s true Dave there’s no guarantee he’ll be back good luck to Him with whatever he decides.

  32. Whatever Cian Hanley does I hope that it brings him happiness. He is approx. 3 years in Oz now and possibly is studying as well as playing football over there so coming home now may not be his best option. He would not have been on big money down there so coming home to study may not be an option. Of course if he were to come home he could be a huge addition to our squad. I thought that he looked a real centre forward potential when playing minor and centre forward is a position we have never filled satisfactorily since Kieran Mac’s days.

  33. Whatever Cian decides I hope it works out well for him. Injuries and the death of a brother can’t be easy. I would hold the horses and excitement as regards a return to Mayo football.

    There is an argument on Cillian’s form and discipline although I am not too sure the captaincy is the reason ?

  34. Bring Cian home …was unlucky with injuries, they liked him but can only hold onto overseas players for so many years before they have to offer full time contract …its up on the 42 .. Sounds like they liked him a lot but didn’t play enough through injuries , it doesn’t mean he’d walk into mayo panel but could be good addition in 2 years time

  35. This is indeed great news. Vital to have some stability going forward!!!!!
    Blood some young players in the league though. Our bench was well and truely exposed in the final this year!!!!

  36. Hope Rochy gives a number of lads call ups and a few second chances to sum other lads who have showed up well in recent club championship games in recent weeks.Quite a good few young forwards showing up really well especially Brian Reape, James Carr, Ciaran Treacy and Jack Reilly.

    Goalies
    Patrick O’Malley Westport
    Matthew Flanagan Balla

    Backs
    Ger McDonagh Castlebar
    Michael Plunkett Ballintubber
    Eoin O’Donoghue Belmullet
    Seamus Cunniffe Ballagh
    Jamie Oates Garrymore
    James Stretton Claremorris
    Michael Hall Breaffy

    Midfield
    Jason Gibbons Ballintubber
    Gary O’Donnell Charlestown

    Forwards
    Brian Reape Moy Davitts
    James Carr Ardagh
    Ciaran Treacy Ballina
    Jack Reilly Charlestown
    Peter Naughton Knockmore
    Neil Douglas Castlebar
    James Durcan Castlebar
    Darren Coen Hollymount
    Adam Gallagher Mayo Gaels

    And hopefully we can add Cian Hanley to the list now that he has been released by Brisbane a serious prospect to add to Mayos half forward line in the summer.The Future looks bright.

  37. Mighty news folks dig deep spot on in your comments can’t wait for 2018 living in Wicklow but Will make it a point to travel to fbd as much as possible mighty stuff!!!!!

  38. Chris Kelly, yes there are options available and there is potential talent in Mayo. I believe Rochfords player selection depends on his priorities for next year. If he is planning for the medium future (say 2-3years) then a number of young players should be looked at with a view to building up as future players. However if his priority is an allout assult at the AI then he has to focus on the existing extended panel. There is no club player who is at a conditioning level to make a difference next year. If AI is the only aim next season its players like Nally, Kirby, Coen, Crowe, ODonaghue, Loftus, Gallagher, Regan COShea who need to take centre stage during the league. They are the players who have the conditioning required to make an impact. Its highly unlikely a club player will step up to make a difference in Croke Park next year.

  39. Wish I were half as confident in Stephen Rochford as vast majority of posters here…but I’m not…to my mind he just doesnt inspire confidence, whether its the displays v Galway, last year’s goalkeeping fiasco, selection issues or late n predictable changes…I hope to high heaven I am wrong and wish him the best of luck!

  40. Delighted that continuity is in place. It’s very important as we have had too much change over the years and it has been to our detriment. I agree with backdoorsam about naming Andy Moran as captain. He’s an inspirational man who enthusiasm just rubs off on people. In relation to Cillian I feel that we need to free him up from the freetaking duties. I hope Liam Irwin comes into the equation if he is performing. I just feel Cillian is playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders and this is effecting his performances. He’s also coming way too deep for the ball. I by no means am being critical of Cillian he owes Mayo football nothing . I just hope that that this changes happen as it could be the difference in us achieving the All Ireland victory we all crave.

  41. There has been several calls over the past few months to add new players to the squad, and rightly so, I think that the squad is going backwards if it standing still.

    What I would like to know is, if new players are to be brought into the squad, who would people suggest should be dropped? The squad cannot be unlimited in size, so if, for example, Ger Mc Donagh, Brian Reape, Peter Naughton and James Carr were to be added to the squad (and I’m just picking those as examples, not to start debate on those 4 over any other 4), then who would we drop from the 2017 squad?

  42. Looking at the extended panel I believe that one of Drake, COS, Boland, O’Donoghue, or Crowe look the most promising of what we have available with a couple of the others needing more time.

  43. I thought cillian had his best season from play this year. Plenty of key scores in big games from open play. Frees do need improving though, especially long range ones.
    As regards Hanley, I understand he will be redrafted for another year by Brisbane. Mid west radio are reporting that anyway, it seems silly after delisting him, but there some odd intricacies and limitations around the AFL draft that may make them chose this approach. In any case I think he’s in college over there so it’s unlikely we will see him in 2018 for Mayo anyway.

  44. Young fella.
    There’s not many involved that you would drop, it will take someone special to dislodge the likes of nally or Kirby from the panel. it will be end of league before anyone is jettisoned.

  45. Oh Dave theres defo a few that cud be dropped 2 of them in my opinion came on as subs in the All Ireland I wont mention names on this.
    Brian Reape , Ciaran Treacy, Jack Reilly, Ger McDonagh and Michael Plunkett performed better than most Mayo subs and panels members throughout the club championship in the last few weeks.McDonagh went to midfield on Shane Nally in the Garrymore replay and curtailed his influence from the 1st day and he kept Cillian very quite from play in the final and kicked 2 points from full back and you reckon theres no one good enough.You obviously dont watch much club football in Mayo.

  46. Chris
    I can’t over the horizon or ocean unfortunately and other than mayogaatv I don’t see much club stuff. But I have relatives and a couple of buddies involved in club football in the county, they hear and see what’s going on at club level and they are smart enough to read it as it is and are my link to the club scene.
    I can guess who you are talking about as subs not making a difference,and agree that’s a good point. Maybe this coming league will give others the chance to force personnel changes, but this panel was a point off the ” best team in history” so there’s not much tweaking needed. I’d say 2 at most will be going.

  47. @JP Galway won Connacht minor in 2015/16/17 and will be the team to beat in Connacht U20 in 2018. Mayos last good minor team was 2014. Also going by minor the last three year Sligo should have a better U20 team than Roscommon. Kerry with Jack O Connor staying on will be aiming to win the U20 AI and more than ever before as their U21s took Galway for granted in the semi final this year thinking they weren’t up to much when needing extra time to beat Sligo and that is unlikely to happen again.

    Mayo always produce top quality club footballers but only so many can step up and establish themselves as top county footballers and county players of the calibre of Andy Moran,Colin Boyle,Keith Higgins etc are once in a lifetime type of players.

  48. Chris Kelly, you forgot Alan Freeman!. & Kevin Keane is almost certain to feature somewhere along the line. ……. Congratulations to AOS, it’s a huge honour to represent your country, and even more so to be named Captain… Good luck to all the boys in Green in Australia, especially the Mayo contingent…. I don’t think it’s nearly as dangerous a game as it used to be.. The ‘Pull Down’ tackle is ‘Clearly Defined’ less dangerous than a ‘ferocious shoulder’ and less contentious than the ‘Not so Clearly Defined’ tackle of Gaelic-football, and it makes you move the ball, which is good….Besides any player can get injured in an A versus B match, or FBD match, we have to accept that it’s part and parcel of playing any contact sport.. I wonder would some of Irelands players be tempted to stay in Australia, personally I think the Mayo lad’s have given so much to the Mayo cause, I can’t see any of them staying Down Under… But it’s very very difficult nowadays for any young person starting off in Ireland nowadays, and I’m sure some of them would be tempted. Great News as well as regard’s Stephen Rochford extending his tenure…. To finish off, I normally read most of the post’s.. And something that I have noticed since last January… The amount of times ‘Kiltoom’ gets mentioned in the posts… I wasn’t there myself, (except in Spirit,).. I know, two late late goals for the Man that, more than any other embodies the Spirit of Mayo, Andy Moran, and hopefully Andy will win Player of the Year but it seems to me that ‘Kiltoom’ is where ‘it started, with the Andy Late Late Show in Kiltoom… It almost rivals ‘Thomond Park’ the time Munster beat the All Black’s, in the folklore of many Mayo supporters.. maybe I’m exaggerating but only slightly…. A question for ye… How many people were at Thomond Park the time Munster beat the All Black’s?… Answer.. I don’t know, but I’d guess approximately the same number of people who claimed to be in the GPO in 1916.

  49. @mayomagic.
    I don’t see any team in Connaught out muscling us to beat us at u20 next year.
    Its mainly the 2016 minors that count and they’ve improved massively.
    Matthew Macken, Jordan Flynn, Brian OMalley, Colm Moran and Conor Diskin are a serious physical force for us.

  50. No question Padraig o hora ballina should be added to that list ….. he’s more then good enough in my opinion

  51. Agree completely re O’Hora.
    He was instrumental in their win over Mitchell’s and his team fell apart after his second yellow against Garrymore. Moreover, both of those yellow cards, but especially the first, were very telling in terms of his determination to put his body on the line. It was an almighty hit that to me looked shoulder to shoulder. This tells me he has both the fight and physicality. The skill is clearly there as demonstrated by his outrageous point from the wing in the same match in Bekan.

  52. I really think that Management need to look at Captaincy next year, Cillian is a great player but something tells me its weighing too heavy on him at times, especially in the big games. I really feel that Keegan is the man for the job as he is always delivering in big games and in particular games v Dublin.

  53. I cannot see much criticism of Stephen getting an extension, he in just over eighteen months guided this outstanding squad to two finals, against what I believe is the best team I have seen in over fifty years and over three games came out the wrong side by two points, he outthought M Harte and E Fitz Maurice ,I really believe he is the best manager in the country and will bring Sam to Mayo

  54. my ball – good question and you raised a great point…there isnt an obvious choice to Roch which would bring us over the line

    Generally, its my belief that its the senior players that run the team and determine our fortunes, some league games and even early championship games they dont seem totally focused n I undestand that…its hard to go to the well so often.

    My main concern though is when it comes down to the crucial changes in big games we dont get them right…just an opinion and I hope to have egg on the aul puss when we win the big one..

  55. Moy Davitts are 5 points up at half time and a man up too. Cillian Finn sent off for Kiltimagh. Brian Reape has about 1-4 so far.

  56. Delighted with Stephens appointment-could not face another winter of uncertainty. I was at a wedding outside of county yesterday- all the talk at our table was about Mayo Football! I was in my element! The admiration of people outside of the county for this Team is something else and how they are so inspiring, role models and their never give up attitude. and all spoke about the great mayo supporters. It lifted me no end ?so proud!

  57. Cait, Colm Boyle is a great player but I still feel to win all Ireland we have to ‘slay the monster’ and in the big games v Dublin no one has taken the fight to Dublin like LK, he really takes it to them IMO, he is the Captain for me

  58. An absolute cracker in McHale Park there now. I think it was young Mulderrig that got that awesome, decisive goal after BMD looked like losing even with a man up. A great, exciting game. Well done Moy Davitts.

  59. As a neutral have to say that Intermediate final was one of the most entertaining games I’ve seen in a long time. Both teams fast out of the blocks but once Moy Davits kept the pace off the skiddy ball they played some great stuff. Both teams got first half goals with Moy Davits getting theirs and a 5 half time point lead and a Kiltimagh player sent off before half time too. It looked very good for the Davits. However they decided to play a defender as the extra man who played as defensive sweeper and lost some edge in 2nd half. Their kick passing going astray too and a 5 point lead turned into a 3 point deficit in injury time with Kiltimagh playing keep ball. Their fans around us had given up with the conclusion nice guys lose (Kiltimagh had been the dirtier team). Then half way through the 4 added minutes the made the break and a sub I think scored and absolute screamer from way out and very soon after kicked the winner. Ref played a minute or 2 beyond but Kiltimagh never got it.
    Couldn’t make it up as a script. I think Moy Davits definitely better team but they went so clueless for almost entire 2nd half would only have themselves to blame had they lost.

  60. The saying a thinnline between genuis and madness springs to mind with SR. Sometimes it seems he doesnt know what he is doing. But you dont get to two AL finals by fluke. He deserves his 3 years.
    One thing i would like to see is Janes Horan given role with under 20’s . Its hard to see him staying iutvof management much longer and we dont want him transforming some other county like he did us….

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