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[FM21] A Lincolnshire Player Only Story - Putting Lincolnshire Football on the Map


theBlackPrince
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Prologue - To win it all using only Lincolnshire born players

I have a love for those teams that just are a little different, or their own style. Athletic Club with their Basque only policy always springs to mind as what can be done with restrictions if done the right way. So, I decided to do my own "Basque Only" save but something that on paper, looks much more challenging.

Starting with the smallest playable Lincolnshire Team (Boston United) and only using players born in Lincolnshire, have to move up the ranks to the Premier League and into Europe. I think this might just be impossible with the small number of players in the area, but I will have fun doing it. I am not limiting myself to just managing Boston (in the long term) as I feel I may need to get at least 2 or 3 Lincolnshire teams with World Class Youth Recruitment and Facilities to be able to produce enough talent to complete the challenge. 

The first season will be simulated to ensure no new contracts or signings are given to non-Lincolnshire players and to enable a full youth intake so the team starts off with at least 16 Lincolnshire players. 

Background - Football in Lincolnshire

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I grew up in Lincolnshire, and it is probably everything people say, or don't say about it. Most people don't know where it is and there are no teams in the top two divisions (maybe Lincoln City can change this at the weekend). The mis-fortunes of all the counties clubs are there for all to see, not helped by sparsely populated small towns and below average sporting facilities. It does not bode well for producing world class footballers and having a team from Lincolnshire in the Premier League. Infact, here is how the 4 main Lincolnshire teams (Lincoln City, Scunthorpe United, Grimsby Town and Boston United) have done over the past 20 years. (Please note the 2020/21 Season was In-Game positions). 

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Lincoln City are doing all they can to reverse the fortunes that has seen Scunthorpe United fall from Championship Football all the way down to League Two. Lincoln City have seen 2 promotion in 5 season's and are on the cusp of the Championship and putting Lincolnshire back on the map. Grimsby in real life were relegated from League Two but in the game they gained promotion to League One. Have their fortunes changed for the better?

Boston United's dramatic fall from grace

Boston United were famously demoted 2 divisions due to financial difficulties which saw them swiftly fall from Football League Two down to the Northern Premier League in less than a year after a further relegation due to still being in administration. 

 

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In May 2007, Boston were relegated from Football League Two on the last day of the season. Because of the relegation Boston were originally scheduled to play the 2007–08 season in the Conference National , but this position was immediately placed in doubt after the club's chairman Jim Rodwell entered Boston into a Company Voluntary Arrangement late in their last game so that 10 points would then be deducted in the 2006–07 season instead of the 2007–08 season. Although this meant that Boston started the 2007–08 season without a points penalty FA rules dictated that they be demoted 2 divisions as a result of HM Revenues and Customs placing a restriction into the CVA of Boston not being allowed to pay football creditors 100% of what they were owed. They therefore played the 2007–08 season in the Conference North division, two steps below the Football League.

Despite finishing the 2007–08 campaign in 10th Boston United were still in administration by the 2nd Saturday of May in 2008. This meant they were relegated again to the Northern Premier League for the 2008–09 season. Despite coming out of administration just before the start of the new season anyway, Boston United failed to have this decision overturned.

 

 

Now, Boston United have built a new Community Stadium on the outskirts of town to replace the York Street Ground which Boston United had used since 1933. Not flush with money, but keeping the administrators from the doors, Boston would like to forget those days and with the new stadium, really start a new chapter in it's history. Can they bring the brightest Lincolnshire prospects to Boston to get them to the Premier League? Only time will tell. 

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Season 1 - Mid-Season Update

Playing attacking football has proved difficult with the squad at Boston often been outmatched and the under-dogs. Results have been hit and miss with very little consistency but at this point in time, securing the top half finish might be the key to securing a new contract

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Wanted to try something a little different that just posting up results, especially seems many players will probably have long careers with the team. The input time is more but hopefully will pay off in the long run to help see players develop and see any trends that happen. 

The starting 11 has mostly picked it self when fit but there has been opportunity for most of the players to get some game time and try and impress for more game time. Leighton Glanville 20a is leading everyone with 16 goals and Boston will need him to do the same in the second half of the season. Jordan Thewlis has chipped in with 6 goals and a team high 11 assists. 

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Key - G = Goal  // A = Assist // Y = Yellow Card // R = Red Card  // Light Green = Starter // Light Yellow = Substituted on  // Dark Green = Player of the Match

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Youth Intake Preview

Looking at the intake and looks promising at first glance, but seems to be lacking in the area we are short, especially wingbacks/fullbacks. It was looking at this, decided to make some moves in the transfer market to bolster the squad in area's lacking and to enable more traditional tactics. The one young Boston born striker is pleasing to see, let's hope he can live up to the hype.

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Season 1 - July to December 2021 Transfers 

DM Johnny Francis - Spalding 

Johnny was already on loan from Peterborough and had earnt a starting role for the season. Performances had been good but not great, but the talent around may not allow him to play up to his full potential. Primary position is DM but can also be used in CM and AMC roles which brings needed versatility. £200 per week for 2 years until 30/06/2023 is a good price for a player who could improve for several seasons. Potential to be a National League midfielder from the scout report.

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DR/DC Edward Hope - Cleethorpes

Joins for not outlay and only £40 per week for a 3 year contract until 30/06/2024 so really a cheap gamble for a long term pay off. Another youngster who may need a few seasons to bed in, but has the potential to improve a lot in the future. He can also play DC but will be retrained to also be able to play as a wingback to really open up some tactical options next season.

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DC/DL  Stefan Galinski - Lincoln

As above, no left sided defender was starting to really show. At a hefty £525 per week, this was more than Benjamin wanted to pay but for a plug and play defender who could walk straight into the team, it was a price that had to be paid. He prefers to play as a central defender but for this season will be needed to play left back. This is a two year deal until 30/06/2023 and with room in the salary pot with all the youth players, now was the time to strength the team for the long run in to the end of season. 

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DL  Lebrun Lindsey - Scunthorpe

With no left sided defenders in the team forcing a back 3, bringing in at least one player was a huge need. Another youngster who may need a few seasons to bed in, but has the potential to improve a lot in the future. He can also play DC but will be retrained to also be able to play as a wingback to really open up some tactical options next season. Joins on a a steal at £55 per week for a 3 year contract until 30/06/2024 so really a cheap gamble for a long term pay off.

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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1 hour ago, deltablue said:

Interesting idea.

I think it has a high potential to crash and burn at this stage. The number of new Lincolnshire players are slim, or my scouts are rubbish. Probably both!

17 hours ago, LUFCspeni said:

I was born in and grew up in Boston (unfortunately) so will be following this with interest!

The new stadium at least does look pretty smart, be interesting to see when it is completed! 

18 hours ago, Cheez3y said:

Uhhh I love those saves.

Brings back memories to my Lanzartoe/Canary Islands save.

I always wanted to do a Lanzarote save but never quite could get into it. Wages in Spain are a little crazy from what I remember also which made it tough to begin with.

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  • 3 weeks later...

New Signings

With the wage budget tight, making free signings and loans will be the plan for the rest of the season. We are unable to ship out any players at the minute to reduce the wage bill to help the cause, but the finances are still looking great with around £1,000,000 in the bank.

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Jamie Murphy, born in Spalding, he was a product of the Peterborough Youth Academy before he was released. He is currently the second best right midfielder we have behind Karl McNamara 22b but he is able to play across the midfield so Jamie may get the chance to play from day one. Signing a contract for £160 a week until 30/06/2024, we hope to see some of the dazzling dribbling skills he has along with a natural flare not often seen at this level.

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Only on loan at the minute, Adam Davis joins for no wages for the rest of the season. He will jump straight into the right full back role and will be hard to dislodge and we will look to try and sign him long term if the loan spell works out. Born in Scunthorpe, he has yet to start a game for Scunthorpe United so jumped at the chance for first team football. A naturally tackler with a work-rate that will not be beaten, he has the chance to win over the squad and fans easily.

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Youth intake 2023

dxr8sJR.jpgNormally I would be overjoyed at the high potential ability of so many players, but with the Lincolnshire only rule there was only 5 born here that can be kept which is disappointing. 2 of the players also play a similar position and one we already have players in. Luckily, at least 3 of the prospects from Boston look like they could improve the team long term so we will look at the positives rather than the negatives on this years intake.

Jeremy Weingarten 23a - Jeremy is down as a right side of midfield but he can also play in the middle, which is where we have more of a need currently. He has a high level of natural fitness, determination and makes key decisions well. He is a fairly aggressive player, so we will have to make sure he does not start collecting red and yellow cards like participation trophies. He can hopefully spend some time in the Under 18's to help develop as a central midfielder of the future for us. Due to his mother coming over from USA, he does hold dual nationality and is eligble for both England and USA, although the second one may be the better option to ever play at that level.

Vincent Petit 23b - An out and out striker which seems to be rare now, most also seem to play as wingers also. He is not the biggest striker at only 178cm tall and 67kg and isn't as fast as we would like, he is only rated 8 from 20 unlike Glanville 20a who is a 14. His heading and first touch are good, which does put him in that target man role positivity and shows high levels of determination and bravery. We may have to look at playing a 4-4-2 with him as a target man to get the most out of him in the future. Has a second nationality on his fathers side, speaking Dutch but qualifies for Belgium. Unlikely to be able to get a call up for either nation.

Travis Purple 23c - Travis just does not have the pace, graded 6 for the centre back position currently, but his tackling, bravery and teamwork could see him be ideal for a ball winning defensive midfielder on defensive duty. His low determination may impact him long term so we will try and get him around some positive players to improve on that moving forward.

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In a 7 goal thriller, Boston would take the lead into the half leading 2-1 after coming from behind. With more shots and possession, the fans were starting to think this could happen. It would be two goals inside 4 minutes to start the second half that would really set the tempo for the second half and put Boston on the back foot. Throwing everything forward Johnny Francis would get the equaliser in the 80th minute but Boston could not hold on late as Alex Bonnington scored in the 88th minute to gain the victory. With 6 minutes of added time, Boston threw everything forward but the young side just fell short. Tipped to be down the bottom and fighting the drop, a remarkable season it was, albeit it now tinged with disappointment.

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End of Season 2 - 2022/23 Season - Vanarama National League North

Tipped to go down at the start of the season it was a great season for the all Lincolnshire team behind 44 goals from Leighton Glanville 20a who then went on to win Vanarama National League North Player of the Season award. He was the difference between the team flying high and probably sitting way down the table, thankfully he still has two years on his contract. Can we build a team around him that will be able to challenge and get promoted next season?

Final League Table               Season Past Positions              Best Eleven                Accolades                Finances               Results               Transfers

Squad Performance

We have already mentioned the star man but we have to highlight the performances of the two wingers, Daniel Randall 22a and Jordan Thewlis who between them had 26 goals and 26 assists. They were ever present in the season and provided great outlets down the wings. Can Thewlis keep repeating as he heads into his 30's? Scott Morris 20b had the second best average rating and looks set to lead the defenders once again next season with Mo Knibbs 21d securing that #1 jersey for the season and beyond. as one of the 4 players averaging over 7.00 per outing.

A second defender in Moses Yeboah-Bempah 21a rounded out the top 5 performers as another who has a bright future. Pleasing for all is the top 5 players were all under 20 and Charles Benjamin will look to make sure they are sticking around for at least the next two seasons. With some of the original players now at the stage of the career they are asking for larger wages but will not improve, we may start to see more youth prospects starting next season.

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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Lincolnshire Player Only Story - Season 3 - Boston United - Vanarama National League North

After a brave showing last season to finish 3rd in the league, beaten in the play-offs by Blyth, who would end up gaining promotion to the Vanarama Nation League, Boston are back and with Promotion on their minds. This season they are predicted to finish 10th, a massive jump from last season when it was 23rd. The first team squad is mostly unchanged but over 20 players have left who were not up to the standard required.

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There may not be much activity, but the main one for Charles Benjamin was the deal the day before the season kicked off was Harvey Cartwright from Hull, a much needed first team keeper. This is a huge instant upgrade to Mo Knibbs 21b who is still only 17. Knibbs did an outstanding job last season but he really needs a few more seasons to develop. Harvey will look to solidify a defence which is know for letting in goals, which may be the difference between promotion or not. He comes in with Boston paying 100% of his £600 a week wages which puts him as the teams highest paid player on the season. It will be money well spent we feel.

It is a return for Adam Davies who comes in from Scunthorpe after 16 games last season on loan. He will slip straight back into that wing back position on the right and should be the starter for the season. Boston will not pay any of his wages for the season which is a nice bonus on the signing. Bringing some depth in on the left wing is Nick Whyman from Lincoln City. The Lincoln born player may get the nod to start if Boston move to a 4-4-2 but will be hoping to impress. 

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The squad now looks much more solid across most of the pitch with only the central midfield looking like it needs some more help, unfortunately no suitable players have come up for loan/transfer at the minute. With a transfer fund now of £200,000 available, there is money there if needed. We will hope Leighton Glanville 20a can repeat his player of the year form from last year to help a steady stream of goals. The average age of the squad is still only 20 so youth and development is key not only for this season, but for the next few. 

Facilities Upgrade

We now boast some of the best Academy Coaching and Recruitment at this level as both now sit at "Excellent". This may be the last upgrade we can obtain without moving up a League or two.

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Academy Preview - 2024 Boston United

The "Golden Generation" term gets banded around all the time so there is always some scepticism when this is spoken as we can never judge that until many years after the intake. The young English striker from Donegal is a real shame that we wont be able to use him. We are weakest in the centre of midfield and this does not seem to fix this from the preview.

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Academy Intake - 2024 Boston United

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What an intake on first glance just on the fact that 13 out of 16 players are from Boston itself so can be developed into the team. After last years intake where most were non-Lincolnshire this is extremely pleasing and hopefully will continue. The one downside to the class is that Owen Browne 24 Non was born in Donegal, Ireland, He looks like he had the ability to become a real star and would be close to getting playing time next season. He has been tagged so we can see how he gets on in his career after Boston United.

Head of Youth Development Damian Froggatt suggests that Regan Lyons 24b is the one to watch from this years intake. Able to play down the middle from central mid to striker, he possesses great versatility but with demands on the team, may find himself in midfield. He has a driven personality which will aid his development and his work rate is second to non, he will out work everyone on the field, For someone of only 15, his physical traits are superb and will put him in great standing for his career. We are really excited about Regan and happy that he has put pen to paper to a long contract offer with an extension for the club tagged on the end.

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Luke Gardner 24a may have been slightly over shadowed with the praise for Lyons but he currently grades out as having the most potential out of this years academy class. Another one with a great personality which will help his development. He plays in a much needed central midfield roll with a great first touch, passing and tackling ratings for a 15 year old. His work rate is below what we expect and maybe he has been able to cruise so far in his career. Luke is a big player we hope for a position we need. He has the "A" tag that has served Glanville 20a, Yeboah-Bempah 21a and Randall 22a well so far, all 3 are key players at the club. 

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That brings us onto Rick Leslie 24c who will have a chance to mature in the under 18's we hope for a season or two. With the loan signing of Harvey Carthwright upsetting currently future #1 Mo Knibbs 21d so much so that he wants to leave the club, maybe he just does not have the mentality for the game as Harvey is a much better player currently. But back to Rick, who has all the physical tools we look for in a keeper but currently lacks the goalkeeping fundamentals we would hope for. We will give him all the chances to improve over the next few seasons but it becomes clear we need to try and bring Cartwright back at least for next season if another loan deal can be done.

Final player in the preview is Stephen Mylod 24d - he worries us with him unambitious personality and we hope we can mentor that and improve it. Another defender who really lacks pace which is another worry as he has good strength. He is still graded out to have a high ceiling for his potential ability and one we may really have to watch and develop over the next few seasons. All players from A to I will be signed and allowed to develop in the under 18's

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Promotion Race Heads to the Wire - 4 games remaining

Boston United, York City and Chester City are going to fight to the wire for the one automatic promotion spot. Chester would drop away as they lost to Boston 3-1 last week which puts them at a huge disadvantage. However, they have the probably just have the easiest run in and Boston and York face each other this week in a battle that could go a long way to deciding the title race.

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Boston and York have battled since the start of the season for the top spot with all 3 teams swapping positions over the last 3 weeks. With just 2 points separating Boston and York, this next game could make all the difference if Boston go ahead by 5 points with a win, or York climb to the top spot by 1 point if they win. All eyes will be at the York Community Stadium.

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Advantage Boston 

It would be advantage Boston United as Vincent Petit 23b put in a player of the match performance as he scored one and set up the winner as he chased back to pick the ball up from a clearance, fired the ball over to Jack O'Shea 22h to finish into the bottom corner. Playing a more defensive 4-1-2-2W-1 formation rather than the usual 4-4-2 this limited York City to only 6 shots and 38% of the ball on their home field. 3 games left, Boston United lead by 5 points so need 5 more to be sure of automatic promotion which is a must from the Vanarama League North to avoid the play-off lottery. Up next is Spennymoor at home where Boston have won 14 from 21, losing only 3 times all season so far.

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Boston United Seal Title at The Community Stadium with a game in hand

With one game to go, away to Tamworth, the Boston Untied players wanted to give a bumper crowd of 2,658 fans something to cheer about at home to see the title at the Community Stadium. With a 3-1 victory over Kings Lynn the Vanarama League North Title belonged to Boston United and the celebrations lasted long into the night. With one game left and the team sitting on 99 points, it does feel like breaking that 100 point barrier would be a great feeling to end the season. It has been a real "team" performance this year, which we will go into more detail in the end of year review, but 3 players with 20 plus goals and 4 players with 10+ assists highlight the team spirit and togetherness of the current squad of Lincolnshire only players.

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Well I thought the goal scoring record would be a little larger than this, but Leighton Glanville 20a is now the best of all time. Glanville is currently unhappy at the club due to not been played in his preferred role and position, which he was but didn't seem to register. There is speculation that he is looking to leave the club, but why would he? Would be great to see him go over the 100 goal marker but there is real competition in the squad now for starting roles, he isn't automatically the first name on the timesheet now.

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4 hours ago, abulezz said:

Great result - Lyons looks like an immediate contributor and is going to be special. 

I think so, I've paid him over the odds as a youth player to hopefully secure him for a long time with optional extension clauses for the club. Really think if we can keep him he could be one of those players that can rise with me all the way up to League One or Championship level. Although, it is hard to fully gauge as my scouts are, how shall we say, not the most accurate for now.

2 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Great Achievement! Do you think your ready for the National League?

 

I think with the quality of the last few intakes on paper we should be fine, and if we can keep the squad together and accept longer contracts. Most of them have positive personalities and that really seems to help the young players develop faster. Getting out of the VNN/VNS always seems to be the hardest bit, but hopefully I don't eat my words now.

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Season 3 Review - Boston United Promoted to Vanarama National League 

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Final Table         League Positions          Fixtures 1        Fixtures 2          Fixtures 3          Transfers          Finances          FA Cup          FA Trophy

Tipped to finish 10th, a great achievement to beat the odds and improve from last season's 3rd place. The VNN/VNS is tough to get out from, with the 1 place promotion and the lottery that is 6 teams play-off for the other. Literally I feel its a win it all or you can suffer in the play-offs for years. Luckily, what looked like it would be a hotly contested title run fizzled out after Boston won against both Chester on the 6th April and then York a week after on the 13th April. That seemed to stop both of them as Boston won the title with a game in hand but just did not have enough left after a long season to get over the 100 point marker. As expected with such a run, Charles Benjamin won his first trophy as a Manager and claimed his first honours with the VNN Manager of the Year award. With a new deal signed in the season until 2026, can we expect the good times to keep on rolling?

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Your 2023/24 Boston United First Team Squad

Player Awards                    Shirt Sales                     Best Overall 11

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Jordan Thewlis (L) turned back the years and showed a mature head to lead the team with an overage rating of 7.30, chipping in with a huge 22 goals and 12 assists. We cannot put a value on this performance and his leadership of a team with most players at least 10 years younger than he is. He would be out for 6 weeks with a sprained knee or these figures may have been even more impressive, unfortunately he was not quite the same coming back from injury. We had a spell of injuries, including top scorer Leighton Glanville 20a who would miss games on international duty for Jamaica Under 20's and 8 weeks with a broken arm. Despite this, he still would lead the team with 25 goals and now sits at the top of all Boston United players with 89 in his career. He may never get to the 100 goal marker as he has fallen out with manager Charles Benjamin for playing him out of his preferred role, it remains to be seen if he will be at the Community Stadium much longer with only a year left on his contract.

With those two out injured at the same time, Vincent Petit 23b was called up from the under 18's a year before planned. That did not seem to phase him at all and he went on to record an impressive 22 goals and 9 assists and the teams second highest average rating. He has shown huge development in his time in the first team and if Glanville 20a is unsettled, looks to be a stright fit replacement. Ideally keeping both in the team would be the ideal option for Boston United. 

Thewlis, Glanville 20a and Petit 23b would account for 69 goals out of the 114 scored, or 60%, A hugely impressive team performance.

On the defensive side of the ball Moses Yeboah-Bempah 21a and Scott Morris 20b both averaged over 7.00 for their performances. Moses had wanted to move to a larger club during the season but Charles Benjamin persuaded him to stay if Boston could get promoted. By all accounts, he is now happy to stay but the proof will come at contract time if he will sign another long term deal with the club. Kian Benson 20c was also every present in the defence with 46 appearances and a hugely impressive 8 assists.

The leader in assists for the season was Karl McNamara 22b who wowed the Community Stadium with a record 17 assists in the season. His versatility proved to be his best weapon as he lined up all over the midfield and he excelled in every position he played. He currently grades out as one of the best players at the club and will be pressing for a new deal and probably would like some stability in the position and role required in the future.

I think someone we have not mentioned may have been one of the biggest players for the season, goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright (L), The on loan keeper from Hull City was a huge upgrade from Mo Knibbs 21d as the team let in 48 goals compared to 59 the season before. We will be hoping we can secure him again next season on loan or on a free as his contract is expiring. Hull City still want a deal around £700,000 for transfer, which we do not have or compensation of £375,000 if we try and sign him. He was a real difference maker for the season. Fellow loan signing Nick Whyman (L) from Lincoln City also impressed on the left wing, double figures for goals and assists and at only 18 can still improve. We have our own Jack O'Shea 22h now ready to fight for the position but for depth, trying to secure Whyman would be a great idea. Finally Adam Davies (L) on loan had 42 starts, had the lowest average rating but was ever present for the team and still chipped in with 9 assists.

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Upgrades

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Season Summaries

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Season 4 - Lincolnshire Only Player Story - Boston United - Vanarama National League

A new season brings a new challenge, rather than trying to gain promotion, this time it is avoid finishing in the bottom 4 and heading straight back down. With the whole squad returning from last season, chances are good that Boston United can avoid the drop. With a 20-1 odds to win the league, they are highly fancied by the bookies to avoid the drop also and have a 10th place finish pencilled by their name. Will this be enough to keep those players currently wanting to explore other options?

Boston United Squad

Goalkeepers - With two senior goalkeepers it is a straight battle between them to start. Mo Knibbs 21d is currently unhappy at the club about his playing time so playing him may be enough to sign a new deal. Rick Leslie 24c is only 16 and could have done with a few season's in the under 18's but already on paper looks the better current player and has the most potential. With no other keepers currently in the team and missing out on signing Harvey Cartwright (L) who signed for Premier League newbies Birmingham City, these are the future here.

Defenders - It is a pair of loan signings that will start at full back with Adam Davies (L) coming back for another loan spell likely to start on the right. Lewis Butroid (L) arrives from Cheltenham and should be good enough to win the starting role on the right. It is going to an unchanged centre back with Moses Yeboah-Bempah 21a and captain Kian Benson 20c. We have yet to see if Joel Branston 22c will play at DC or MC this season but the defence does lack in depth currently if there are a few injuries.

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Midfield - It is great to see such talent at the Community Stadium such as Karl McNamara 22b and Daniel Randall 22a who are a real class above other players in the team. They both can play multiple positions and will really need them to chip in with goals and assists to achieve targets this season. The fans are eager to get another view of Regan Lyons 24b who at only 16 could see significant playing time this season, although keeping him injury free and healthy at his age is a must. Nick Whyman (L) returns for another loan spell from Lincoln City and will battle Jack O'Shea 22h for that start on the left wing.

Strikers - We have many players able to play up top but Vincent Petit 23b showed he was ready to play at this level with the goals he scored last year. Douglas Onyango 20f has struggled so far for goals so may see Leighton Glanville 20a continue to start as he aims for his 100 career goals. 

Pre-Season Transfers

It was a quiet transfer period for Boston United as only Zach Green (L) joined on a permanent contract. Boston offered contracts to several Lincolnshire born players but were demanding wages in the £5,000 per week range which was just too much of an outlay for the return of ability. Owen Browne 24 Non was not Lincolnshire born so was sold at the earliest opportunity.

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Contract Issues Blight Pre-Season Progress

Pressure is building on Manager Charles Benjamin as 4 players are currently not wanting to sign deals past this season, including two of the teams best players in Moses Yeboah-Bempah 21a and Daniel Randall 22a. Does Benjamin risk losing them for free at the end of the season or try and cash in on them with a small transfer figure and try to add on future transfer fees? Hopefully a good start to the season may help bring some players around but Boston United fans might have to get use to the idea they may be without some top players next season.

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Yeboah-Bempah 21a secures long term deal

Much to the joy of Boston United fans, Moses has made a U-turn and now signed a long term deal with the club. The defender has been ever present in the back 4 and is the current  one of the Lincolnshire player with the most appearances under Charles Benjamin with 143. Lets hope Daniel Randall 22a will also change his mind and follow with signing a new deal. 

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Boston United cash in on Daniel Randall 22a

With Randall 22a extremely unhappy with not been able to move to Huddersfield, the chances of him signing a new contract looked slim. From an Initial offer of just £41,000, Benjamin stood firm that it would be a club record deal with "future potential" to prize him away. The previous record received by Boston United was £125,000 in 2005 when Andy Kirk moved to Northampton but this will smash this record.

With a 50% percentage of next transfer fee added on, all Boston United fans will be following Randall 22a closely at Huddersfield and hope he can prove himself at the next level and earn a hefty move once more for a bumper windfall for Boston.

"I am extremly sad to lose a player of his ability from a squad which has so much young talent, but when a club comes in from the Championship, it is hard to stop a player leaving. Daniel only had a year on his deal left and he could have left for a free. This deal is a great deal and one that we hope will help in the future also," said Charles Benjamin.

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Youth Prospect Report

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Report on sale date

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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9 hours ago, abulezz said:

Amazing result and season - winning one of the lower leagues is always a special moment for whatever reason! I am excited to see how Lyons is going to develop. 

I think I get more joy winning leagues at this level then I do at say the Championship level! Just seems so much tougher. Lyons could be a star, wish I had the squad to let him develop in U18's but he is too good not to play. I'm just pleased to have him locked into a long contract! 

56 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

The player was too good for Vanarama League. Hopefully Hudderfield develop him and he gets a really big bid!

 

This is probably very true, I just had a feeling he would never get happy with 15 clubs after him so took the money. I would love a few million in a sell on clause but I guess only time will tell! Will try and keep up to date to see if/when he gets to play in the Championship!

Thanks for both checking in as always!

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Meet your (all) Lincolnshire Staff

If there was a lack of players to choose from, the number of staff is also minimal. However, we have a full number of staff and all are doing great for the current level we play at. I do worry about the level of coaches available if we get into the Premier League but that is a long way away for now. But let's introduce you to an overview of everyone and highlight a few key personnel.

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Head of Youth Development - Damian Froggatt (L)

If there every was a staff member earning their money, it would be Damian. The number and quality of Lincolnshire players brought in so far has been out of this world for a club the size of Boston United. Damian was an under 18's coach at Lincoln City before moving into the Head of Youth Development role for them between 2013-2019. He would be out of work until Boston came calling in 2021 and he has been with the team since then. He excels at working with youngster's which has really been there for all to see and although he grades about half way for recognising player potential, we have no complaints so far. We do not expect him to gain much more, but for now there is no-one even close to taking over his role with the staff available. 

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Assistant Manager - Paul Holland (L)

Paul is a new signing for this season and brings a wealth of Managerial experience with over 100 games in charge of Concord Rangers from 2021-23. He had a playing career that saw him make 315 appearances for Mansfield, Sheffield United, Chesterfield and Bristol City with 39 goals. Looking for his next opportunity in football Boston Town seemed like a great destination and a chance to showcase what he can do again. He has a great ability to work with youth players with a focus on fitness and discipline. He may be strict but he is also a motivator and also employs the 4-4-2 formation favoured by Benjamin. 

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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Daniel Randall 22a starts for Huddersfield

It wouldn't take long for Daniel Randall 22a to make his debut for Huddersfield. He would lead the line and record a 7.8 rating along with 1 assist for the game which Huddersfield beat Barnsley. A promising start for his career to get the nod and this can only be a positive for his reputation in England. 

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2024/25 In-Season Update

Life in the Vanarama National League seems to be suiting Boston United as they have started the season above all expectations and find themselves in 5th place and only 2 points behind league leaders Torquay United. October  has been extremely pleasing with 4 victories in a row with 3 clean sheets which is extremely pleasing to see 17 year old Rick Leslie 24c stepping into the first team and performing above all expectations. Vincent Petit 23b has taken on being the clubs main goal scoring threat and has 10 goals already in this campaign.

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Injuries have been starting to pile up with several players spending significant time with the clubs medical team. The worst one of the season so far is Zach Green (L) who has broken his leg in a freak training accident. Will he ever be able to fully recover and continue to progress to previous high levels we thought he could get to?

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Youth Facilities Upgrade

A surprise to may that with just over £1,600,000 in the bank, Boston United have spent all of that on upgrading the facilities to leave less than £80,000 in the bank. The massive youth push at the club in recent years was a deciding factor to keep putting the money into this area to keep Boston United as one of the Premier lower league teams in producing talented players.

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Lincolnshire Only Players - Boston United Season 4 Nov - Feb Update -  Vanarama National League 

Boston United maintain a play-off position despite a blank January where they lost 3 in a row but have not been outside the top 10 teams in this period with a low of 5th place. A very pleasing display from the still young Boston Team who would love to end the season in the top 7 and have a small outside chance of promotion. With 11 games to play in the League this season there is only 7 points separating 4th to 11th and that is the most likely finishing range Boston United can expect this season. Maybe, just maybe the pre season ranking of 10th was bang on.

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Even with Boston in 6th place they are a long way off the pace of the goal difference of all the teams around them. Currently 9th best for goals scored but they have let 46 in the other end which is very middle of the table for a +8 goal difference compared to 16 to 29 in the other play-off spots. Vincent Petit 23b is leading all scorers with 16 goals with Karl McNamara 22b leading all with 10 assists. It is testimony to the huge improvements in the youth academy at Boston United to see all these academy players performing at this level.

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Boston United fans held breathe as Sunderland came in for Manager Charles Benjamin

There was a rumour that Sunderland had come in for Manager Charles Benjamin and less than 5 hours later bookies had him at 2/1 to take the job at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland find themselves in 16th place in the Sky Bet Championship and former manager Simon Greyson left for QPR who are in 5th place. Much to the joy of all those Boston fans Benjamin swiftly announced he would not be interviewing for the role.

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final for Boston United

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As if performing well in the League wasn't enough, Boston United are deep into the FA Trophy tournament after a tight 1-0 win over VNN Altrincham on the road. With just 4 teams left in the competition, Boston have the "best" draw possible with the National League North Team Alfreton Town. They are currently 10th in the League and will travel to the Community Stadium hoping to cause an upset.

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In the other semi-final we see two National League Teams face off with Chorley hosting Torquay United with the home side looking to beat a Torquay side in the promotion mix. 

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Edited by theBlackPrince
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UP the Pilgrims! Maybe you won't relocate to America now....LOL!

 

Also the Sunderland job isn't worth it.....especially with all the anti-depressant prescriptions you would have to take.

 

Edited by Hootieleece
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Boston United 2024/25 Youth Intake

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After several huge youth intakes, this one on paper looks to be below par. Maybe, just maybe the club is now at a level where the youth intakes will start to slow down as they have drained all the local talent over the last few seasons. With mostly u-favourable personalities, maybe Damian Froggatt (L) has also got to the maximum of his ability as a Head of Youth Development. With few other options out there, he may get another 1 or 2 intakes to see if this is just a bad year or are we likely to see more like this moving forward.

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The star man from this intake is easily Brendan Blanchard 25a who unfortunately plays in a position of huge strength for us and his unambitious personality really could hinder his development. His technical ability is good and looks like he can cross the ball well, but currently lacks the stamina to be effective for a whole game. Elliott Ward 25b is the next one up in that left back positon, one which he could be good enough to see playing time in the future as we do have a lack of depth there.

Unlike last year, there are 5 players this year not from Lincolnshire with Dutch defensive midfielder Edson Cronie 25 Non the one who looks the best on paper.

Now we wait, we put all of those in the under 18's and see if anyone can surprise us and our scouts and be much better than their potential ability shows.

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Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final

Boston United lost 0-6 to league leaders Oldham on the Tuesday before the Saturday of this game. Charles Benjamin was taking zero chances and rested the whole starting line up so they would be fresh for this. Will this be the difference for the game today and set the team up for the away leg next week?

"The chance to play in a trophy game or playing a full strength team in a game in all honesty we would probably lose to Oldham, and having tired legs was a no-brainer for me. They are 8 points ahead of the rest for a reason and we have a real chance of a trophy this season" said Charles Benjamin.

First Leg

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Boston United would go 2-0 up early on as Vincent Petit 23b would be set up one-on-one twice and he would easily finish both chances within the first 20 minutes. The day would get much worse for Boston as Petit 23b would be stretchered off the field with a potential knee injury, the Boston crowd upset to see a star player end his day like that. There was no news in the game on how serious it was. Boston would continue the game and ended up comfortable 4-1 winners with two more goals from Regan Lyons 24b and Nick Wyman (L) before Alfreton got one back late on.

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Second Leg

It would be tough for Alfreton to come back to win this but they came out swinging and got the lead with a great strike on the 10th minute. Jake O'Shea 22h would settle the nerves in the 74th minute with the equaliser. A lackluster diplay from Boston but the damage was done in leg one and cruise to a 5-2 aggregate victory. 

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Buildbase FA Trophy Final Announced 

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Boston Face Solihull in National League Play-Off First Round

A great end to the season saw Boston rise up to 6th place to end the season and into the play-offs. It will be a long road ahead for the Pilgrims if they have any chance for promotion, which was not on the cards to start the season. First off, a trip to Solihull to see if the dream will continue or end at the first stage. 

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Boston and Solihull Moors have faced off 3 times with Boston able to secure at least a draw in each meeting. 

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Vanarama National League Play-offs - Round 1

Boston would dominate the game from start to finish but could not supply the finish before Joel Branston 22c whipped in a free kick to the back post where Jake O'Shea 22h would rise the highest to nod home from 6 yards. Vincent Petit 23b would make an appearance in the last 15 minutes, returning from injury and it was his work rate that made the second goal. He chased down a loose ball,  played the pass out to Jeremy Weingarten 23a to fire a cross in from the right hand side. Joel Branston 22c would cap off his fine day as he would head the ball in and Boston took a two goal lead late on to seal the victory and move on to the semi-final. Nick Whyman (L) would go off injured with 8 minutes to go and with all 3 subs used, Boston saw the game out with 10 men.

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Semi-Final Draw pits Boston United at Stockport County

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Boston United as the lower seed will travel again, this time to play Stockport who finished 3rd in the table with 87 points compared to Boston's 78. What may be worrying for Boston, they only lost 3 times at home in the season and Boston have the 14th best away record and only 5 wins on the season. They have proved once they can overcome the stats for the play-offs but this is a much tougher task. Stockport have the head to head advantage, never losing at home to Boston.

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Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi-Final

Stockport would pile the pressure on from the first minute, forcing a world class save from Rick Leslie 24c. Boston would struggle to get any pressure and would soon find themselves 0-2 down and looking like they were not quite at the races today as they allowed Stockport to have 13 shots in the first half. Boston would move to a more attacking 4-4-2 in the second half to try and get back in the game. Joel Branston 22c would see a very harsh straight red in the 69th minute and any chance of promotion this season was now all but gone.

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Manager Charles Benjamin spoke to the press afterwards, "Obviously I'm disappointed for the lads, they have played above expectations all season and just fell short. Promotion was not on our minds at the start of the year when avoiding going back down as the aim we set the team. I think if we had played this at home the result may have been different but Stockport on their own turf are a tough team to beat. We still have the FA Trophy to look forward to and if we can come away with a trophy this season, all will be forgotten about today."

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Buildbase FA Trophy Final - Boston United vs Torquay United

"It is a magnificent achievement to get to the Final with the amount of games in the League also. We come down full of confidence and this would really put the icing on the cake for the season. We hope to give the traveling fans something to cheer about and really hope we can go one better than last time Boston was in the final. Preparation has been key, they lads are enjoying their football in training and we really expect a great game." said Charles Benjamin

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Line Up's

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Match Review

The first 20 minutes was an extremely cagey affair with neither team really showing much promise in the final third of the game. Both teams had 3 shots but nothing had really forced a save from either keeper so far. Charles Benjamin was on the side-line encouraging his team.

25th minute - Vincent Petit 23b gets free in the box and looks set to score, but the flag was raised and maybe saved the young striker as he missed the target.

26th minute - Regan Lyons 24b picked up the ball on the left edge of the box, he plays the ball out to Lewis Butroid (L) who takes a touch, runs towards the line and looks to whip in a cross from the left. Jeremy Weingarten 23a would get his head onto it, nodding it down to Vincent Petit 23d who was never going to miss from inside the 6 yard box. Boston United 1 - 0 Torquay United

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38th minute - Chance for Vincent Petit 23b as he is put in on goal, but he slices the ball and it sails into the stands.

41st minute - Goooooaaaaallllll again for Vincent Petit 23b. Boston were on top but now the second goal before the half really helps. Regan Lyons 24b would do the mop up duty before starting the next attack with a ball to Karl McNamara 22b. He looked up, spotted Vincent Petit 23b behind his man and with a superb ball he hits him in stride to finish on the volley past the keeper. Boston United 2 - 0 Torquay United 

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42nd minute - Chance for Torquay to get back into it before the half as Andrew Nelson nodded it down for Darnell Purton but he snatched at it and didn't trouble the keeper.

43rd minute - Jake O'Shea 22h with a convincing run down the left wing crosses over for Vincent Petit 23b but his header from 15 yards is straight at the keeper.

Half Time - Boston United 2 - 0 Torquay United 

45th minute - Chance for Torquay to as Darnell Purton's shot from 7 yards out is straight at Rick Leslie 24c and he parries it away. Anywhere else and it is probably a goal.

48th minute - Game on as simple route one football beats Boston. Keeper send the ball long to Andrew Nelson, he plays it through to Romaine Mundle would then finish nicely shooting right to left to get Torquay into the game. Boston United 2 - 1 Torquay United 

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57th minute - Boston lose the ball and Torquay are lightening on the break. Adam Trotter gets the shot off from 7 yards but Rick Leslie 24c saves it well. 

58th minute- Wow, a huge mistake by Moses Yeboah-Bempah 21a allows Romaine Mundle in one-on-one but thankfully Rick Leslie 24c makes a huge save to get Boston out of a jam.

69th minute - Once again Torquay wins possession and counter attacks rapidly leaving Boston short. Adam Trotter takes a shot from outside the box, Rick Leslie 24c saves well for a corner. Charles Benjamin drops the 4-4-2 for a more defensive 4-1-2-2W-1 with Johnny Franics (L) coming on for Leighton Glanville 20a to play in a half back role to defend against the counter. Nick Whyman (L) comes on for Jake O'Shea 22h as a more defensive option on the left wing.

81st minute Regan Lyons 24b has space from the edge of the box, no-one closes down, The shot is on target but is blocked for a corner. Nick Whyman (L) header from corner easily saved.

90th minute - From nothing Torquay United have equalised. Madramootoo plays a long back from his own half to Andrew Nelson and from an acute angle at the edge of the box blasts it past Rick Leslie 24c to make it 2-2. How he has scored that we will never know. Boston United 2 - 2 Torquay United 

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End of Regulation - Boston United 2 - 2 Torquay United - Extra Time

103rd minute - Nick Whyman (L) with a powerful run down the left, swings it in to the head of Regan Lyons 24d but can only aim it at Dermot Mee for the easy save.

104th minute - Torquay would get the cross in for Andrew Nelson but Rick Leslie 24c tips it over the bar.

115th minute - Torquay would go on the counter again with Luke Colclough's shot turned round the post. Both teams are tired now.

117th minute - Boston had the numbers and looked like they would score but the ball fell to Johnny Francis (L), not known for his goals. A nice strike but well saved by Dermot Mee.

End of Extra Time - Boston United 2 - 2 Torquay United - Penalties

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