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Pairs & Combinations - The Ultimate Guide (Released)

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5 minutes ago, carloshcorbalan said:

Hola.....

como la traduzco a español.....

No hablo español. 

Si alguien quiere traducir, por favor envíeme un mensaje.

[lo siento - Google Translate]

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Beautiful news llama3! The original was one of the best resources for FM ever and it's just great to have it properly updated. Can't wait to start reading it tomorrow!

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Not had the chance to delve into it but just wanted to say thanks/well done.  For anyone to give up their free time to produce that kind of content they deserve a big pat on the back.:applause:

Edited by Robson 07

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I do believe you have gone above and beyond your duty for the Football Manager community.

What an absolute belting update of this amazing guide and I echo all of the other by saying thank you so much. :applause:

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A great piece of work for the community, mate! :) Nicely explained, well-thought. Thank you.

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Thanks mate, you're a legend !!!

Edited by Littbarski

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Needs further reading to absorb all you've tried to cover but I really like certain things such as press/shape, endurance/sprinter and similar tables.  Also like the overall quality of presentation.

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Only had a chance to have a quick flick through at the minute but from what I've seen so far this is going to be a timeless and invaluable resource for the community. Thank you very much. 

:applause: :thup:

 

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Bro this is amazing. What can I do for you? 

Edited by Experienced Defender
inappropriate word

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Much thanks for your effort. Gonna read this now. Have a great day!

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Brilliant! Reading it now, and wanted to clarify something. In the part about the Half Back you write: "The Half Back sits in front of the defence whilst in possession, being a passing outlet to keep recycling the ball. When the team loses possession, he drops between the centre back pairing, and splits the centre backs wider, creating a back three. " - Is it not supposed to be the reverse? That the Half Back drops between the central pairing during build-up to help play out from the back, and that he acts as a shield in front of the defence when out of possession?

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Man this is amazing job! Absolute top!

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There's a problem with this paragraph on page 12.

"The Half Back is an inversion of how a Sweeper plays. The Half Back sits in front of the defence whilst in possession, being a passing outlet to keep recycling the ball. When the team loses possession, he drops between the centre back pairing, and splits the centre backs wider, creating a back three."

It's the other way around, the HB drops between the CBs in possession, creating a back three. This behavior primarily occurs during buildup, once the ball progresses into the final third he can take up more advanced positions similar to an Anchorman. Out of possession he sits in front of the backline and acts like a regular DM.

 

That is what the role does in theory, in practice the HB has two major issues that for me make it entirely unusable. The behavior I described only works as intended with the wide defenders played from the WB strata. If played from the FB strata the HB will still drop deep, but the CBs will not spread as much and resulting back three will be significantly narrower than a regular back three. This narrow positioning makes it largely ineffective at getting past a 2 man press, which is primary reason why the role evolved.

And second, even when used "as intended" with the wide defenders in the WB strata, when the HB steps out from the backline because the ball is high up the pitch, the CBs will keep their wide positioning thus leaving a huge space right in the middle of the defence.

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2 hours ago, Vizzini said:

Brilliant! Reading it now, and wanted to clarify something. In the part about the Half Back you write: "The Half Back sits in front of the defence whilst in possession, being a passing outlet to keep recycling the ball. When the team loses possession, he drops between the centre back pairing, and splits the centre backs wider, creating a back three. " - Is it not supposed to be the reverse? That the Half Back drops between the central pairing during build-up to help play out from the back, and that he acts as a shield in front of the defence when out of possession?

 

17 minutes ago, SD said:

There's a problem with this paragraph on page 12.

"The Half Back is an inversion of how a Sweeper plays. The Half Back sits in front of the defence whilst in possession, being a passing outlet to keep recycling the ball. When the team loses possession, he drops between the centre back pairing, and splits the centre backs wider, creating a back three."

It's the other way around, the HB drops between the CBs in possession, creating a back three. This behavior primarily occurs during buildup, once the ball progresses into the final third he can take up more advanced positions similar to an Anchorman. Out of possession he sits in front of the backline and acts like a regular DM.

 

That is what the role does in theory, in practice the HB has two major issues that for me make it entirely unusable. The behavior I described only works as intended with the wide defenders played from the WB strata. If played from the FB strata the HB will still drop deep, but the CBs will not spread as much and resulting back three will be significantly narrower than a regular back three. This narrow positioning makes it largely ineffective at getting past a 2 man press, which is primary reason why the role evolved.

And second, even when used "as intended" with the wide defenders in the WB strata, when the HB steps out from the backline because the ball is high up the pitch, the CBs will keep their wide positioning thus leaving a huge space right in the middle of the defence.

Thanks both, you're spot on it's the other way round. If/as/when I update I'll change that.

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22 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

Not had the chance to delve into it but just wanted to say thanks/well done.  For anyone to give up their free time to produce that kind of content they deserve a big pat on the back.:applause:

Thank you. It's 10,000 words, enough for a University dissertation! No small effort goes into it, but seeing how many people view and download it and appreciate it genuinely makes it worthwhile.

8 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

Needs further reading to absorb all you've tried to cover but I really like certain things such as press/shape, endurance/sprinter and similar tables.  Also like the overall quality of presentation.

Thanks, good to hear your view as it's a new way I wanted to cover that section. Midfield had a big re-write to try and format, so glad it has come across to you. I felt the table format made easier visual reference as the last guide had more text than would be ideal.

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Question regarding the wide role combinations- what does the "!" mean? Is that indicating not to use those two roles in combination? 

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6 hours ago, RCCook said:

Question regarding the wide role combinations- what does the "!" mean? Is that indicating not to use those two roles in combination? 

It’s “use with caution”, not a straightforward yes/no like some of the others, but can work in right circumstances.

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Thanks for this - it is a really professional looking and informative guide - has given me plenty to think about.

I wondered whether there is an opportunity to expand on lone strikers and how these pair and combine with other positions?  For instance how a lone striker combines with the IF/IW or midfield strata behind them?

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58 minutes ago, Fieldsy said:

Thanks for this - it is a really professional looking and informative guide - has given me plenty to think about.

I wondered whether there is an opportunity to expand on lone strikers and how these pair and combine with other positions?  For instance how a lone striker combines with the IF/IW or midfield strata behind them?

I also thought that the information for long strikers was a bit unclear. Also 4411, 41221 and 4141 have quite different lone strikers to each other. 

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7 hours ago, Fieldsy said:

Thanks for this - it is a really professional looking and informative guide - has given me plenty to think about.

I wondered whether there is an opportunity to expand on lone strikers and how these pair and combine with other positions?  For instance how a lone striker combines with the IF/IW or midfield strata behind them?

6 hours ago, henryzz said:

I also thought that the information for long strikers was a bit unclear. Also 4411, 41221 and 4141 have quite different lone strikers to each other. 

Thanks for the feedback. It's actually something I covered a bit more in this version than before. Essentially what I am trying to get across is that any forward system involves a pair and/or combination. Even a lone forward in a flat 4-1-4-1 has combinations in it at some point. An Inside Forward, Raumdeuter, Attacking Midfielder, Shadow Striker, even a Mezzala or Central Midfielder (attack) can be considered as part of the pair/combination. 

The 3 x main types of partnership - big man-little man, creator-scorer and false nine-false ten can be made up of lone central strikers. So a few examples:

Big Man - Little Man
You could use a Wide Target Man, or Target Man as the big man, as well as some other striker roles like a Complete Forward or Deep-Lying Forward. The behaviour you are looking for is someone who either drops deep, plays with back to goal and/or holds the ball up to form the role of a big man - this can take place. The little man can come from AM (RLC) or ST (C), with essentially a forward-thinking role looking to get in behind. A Poacher, Advanced Forward, Pressing Forward can all fulfil that role as ST (C), but that can also come from a Shadow Striker, Attacking Midfielder (Attack), Inside Forward, Raumdeuter, possibly to a lesser extent an Inverted Winger (but certainly less suited). 

Creator-Scorer
The creator and scorer can be switched into any position. The creator can be a playmaker (Enganche, Trequartista, Advanced Forward, Wide Playmaker) or a creative wide player (Winger, Inverted Winger, Inside Forward - support), with a more typical goalscorer (as listed above), or you can use the forward as the creator (False Nine, Trequartista, Deep-Lying Forward, Complete Forward) with a wide or deep player as a forward (again, as listed above - Inside Forward, Raumdeuter, Shadow Striker, Attacking Midfielder etc.).

False Nine-Ten
A lot of this set-up is similar to the example used in a creator-scorer system, but it's more specifically focused on the striker dropping deep and the deeper player pushing forward. A lone forward in a 4-1-4-1 like a Deep-Lying Forward (Support) for example, can find a Central Midfielder (Attack) pushes on beyond him and gets into the box. So it's a pairing/combination again, even though there are yards between the 2 positions.

Does that help?

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Thanks for this!  I've had a few scrapped saves recently where I've not been able to either adapt my tactics or understand what is/isn't working and it was getting incredibly frustrating. 

Had a good read of this whilst sorting out my latest save tonight and the early signs are very positive, because I actually understand what's going on, why it's working and what I need to do to keep it going. Cheers!

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Very impressive. Many thanks for taking the time. 
 

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Very nice guide! Getting your role/duty combination right is often-times the most overlooked aspect of making a tactic but it's incredibly important, and this guide seems a great reference for people struggling to get the right balance.

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On 10/02/2020 at 22:11, KyleHyde said:

Beautiful news llama3! The original was one of the best resources for FM ever and it's just great to have it properly updated. Can't wait to start reading it tomorrow!

Echo this, and this version is even better!

 

Had one question regarding endurance vs sprinters in midfield - I didn’t totally understand where you’d use one rather than the other. Is it the case that endurance tends to work better for possession (as in your example) or can sprinters work depending on your setup (I guess you’d need runners from deep...?)

 

Basically, is it always preferable to have both, or do certain styles prefer one or the other?

 

Hope that’s not too confusing a question (and thanks again!)

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On 06/03/2020 at 07:17, Optimal-Kiwi said:

Had one question regarding endurance vs sprinters in midfield - I didn’t totally understand where you’d use one rather than the other. Is it the case that endurance tends to work better for possession (as in your example) or can sprinters work depending on your setup (I guess you’d need runners from deep...?)

Basically, is it always preferable to have both, or do certain styles prefer one or the other?

Hope that’s not too confusing a question (and thanks again!)

So a sprinter is where you need someone to make penetrating runs - so think about a counter-attacking system where you need to get runs forward quickly, or a possession system where you try to break lines with deep runners. I wouldn't say it's necessarily about the system, more about the role you need the person to play. An endurance runner is someone you are looking to see involved constantly with workrate the key, rather than moments that create an impact.

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Thank you for this guide, I had a good knowledge on it but this reminds important things and on some points you raise things I have not even thought about.

Cheers.

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1 hour ago, KrKAlex said:

Thank you for this guide, I had a good knowledge on it but this reminds important things and on some points you raise things I have not even thought about.

Cheers.

Cheers, I'm sure there are so many others things I haven't thought of or written to, but I'm glad you and others find it useful - it's a good starting point to get a good balanced system/team

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Maybe silly question but help me please...I saw your explain about wide players. I don’t understand different about your symbols and?
Can you explain me, please. Thx a lot!

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On 29/03/2020 at 20:47, MV4 said:

Maybe silly question but help me please...I saw your explain about wide players. I don’t understand different about your symbols and?
Can you explain me, please. Thx a lot!

X - not recommended (fundamental weakness/issue)
! - use with caution (essentially, has significant risks/weaknesses, but could work in the right system)

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Quick question regarding striker partnerships... Is Move Into Channels in both strikers (4-4-2) problematic? For example, a DLF + AF pairing. Will both stay wider, or should that not be a problem in 2-striker systems, since if one drifts wide into a channel and makes defence shift to that side, the other one will stay central, since the channel on his side will naturally get closed? Hopefully that makes sense.

I imagine if I were to use a Poacher instead of AF, winger on his side could get a bit isolated, since the Poacher will look to stay central?

Thanks!

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5 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

Quick question regarding striker partnerships... Is Move Into Channels in both strikers (4-4-2) problematic? For example, a DLF + AF pairing. Will both stay wider, or should that not be a problem in 2-striker systems, since if one drifts wide into a channel and makes defence shift to that side, the other one will stay central, since the channel on his side will naturally get closed? Hopefully that makes sense.

I imagine if I were to use a Poacher instead of AF, winger on his side could get a bit isolated, since the Poacher will look to stay central?

Thanks!

No, it's not necessarily a problem at all. It's a hard question to answer - because it depends where the space is in your team. If you had a 4-4-2 Diamond, I'd expect them both to split wide more. You'd generally like more moving into channels to offer support and options to combine with - if the ball is on the right flank, and one of your forwards drifts into channels to offer support, then I'd expect the other forward to be more central yes - but it's something I'd just say you need to look at your team and ask yourself if the player(s) are behaving the way you want them to.

I generally like styles that dominate the ball, so I often have to face packed defences - movement into channels is important for me for that reason. But you may have a system where you are trying to occupy the centre backs, or just want the forward to be a goal threat only - in which case movement into channels might not help you.

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56 minutes ago, llama3 said:

No, it's not necessarily a problem at all.

I guess it could be more of a problem with a lone striker that you expect to be the main scorer, since if he goes wide into a channel, there may be no one central to actually score (eg. no attacking midfielders). Meanwhile in 2-striker formations, it's hard to imagine both of them finding channels on their respective sides, I guess if one moves wide and gets the ball, the whole defence has to adjust to that (shift towards that side) and that would mean there would be no channel on the other side, so that striker would then naturally stay central (unless instructed to roam).

At least that's how I picture it now that I think about it, perhaps I thought about Move Into Channels too much as Stay Wider, which is a whole another PI. I admit watching games is not one of my strong points, which is why I'm always grateful for amazing guides like yours, that explain the theory behind things.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, DiStru_ said:

I guess it could be more of a problem with a lone striker that you expect to be the main scorer, since if he goes wide into a channel, there may be no one central to actually score (eg. no attacking midfielders). Meanwhile in 2-striker formations, it's hard to imagine both of them finding channels on their respective sides, I guess if one moves wide and gets the ball, the whole defence has to adjust to that (shift towards that side) and that would mean there would be no channel on the other side, so that striker would then naturally stay central (unless instructed to roam).

At least that's how I picture it now that I think about it, perhaps I thought about Move Into Channels too much as Stay Wider, which is a whole another PI. I admit watching games is not one of my strong points, which is why I'm always grateful for amazing guides like yours, that explain the theory behind things.

Interesting. Perhaps a DLF (S) and a poacher could work really well. If the DLF moves into the right half space or drifts wide, then logically you would expect the defence (assuming back 4) to shift to that same side, just opening up space for a Poacher to slide in and grab a goal. The Hold Up Ball PI for the DLF could also allow a midfield runner to exploit the space, thereby allowing potentially 2 players to get into goalscoring positions. Also not forgetting if you have a winger on the opposite side to the DLF you could have him swinging crosses into space. 

Maybe this is just a bit too theoretical and only how I see it working in a game but hopefully I'm not too far out in terms of expecting this to happen in FM20 ME. 

Edited by 3LionsFM
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On 31/03/2020 at 23:37, DiStru_ said:

I guess it could be more of a problem with a lone striker that you expect to be the main scorer, since if he goes wide into a channel, there may be no one central to actually score (eg. no attacking midfielders). Meanwhile in 2-striker formations, it's hard to imagine both of them finding channels on their respective sides, I guess if one moves wide and gets the ball, the whole defence has to adjust to that (shift towards that side) and that would mean there would be no channel on the other side, so that striker would then naturally stay central (unless instructed to roam).

At least that's how I picture it now that I think about it, perhaps I thought about Move Into Channels too much as Stay Wider, which is a whole another PI. I admit watching games is not one of my strong points, which is why I'm always grateful for amazing guides like yours, that explain the theory behind things.

It's not just the presence/lack of attacking midfielders to consider - but if you have a lone forward moving into channels, he could create space for inside forwards to drive into - leaving defenders unsure if they follow the man or stay in shape.

On 31/03/2020 at 23:54, 3LionsFM said:

Interesting. Perhaps a DLF (S) and a poacher could work really well. If the DLF moves into the right half space or drifts wide, then logically you would expect the defence (assuming back 4) to shift to that same side, just opening up space for a Poacher to slide in and grab a goal. The Hold Up Ball PI for the DLF could also allow a midfield runner to exploit the space, thereby allowing potentially 2 players to get into goalscoring positions. Also not forgetting if you have a winger on the opposite side to the DLF you could have him swinging crosses into space. 

Maybe this is just a bit too theoretical and only how I see it working in a game but hopefully I'm not too far out in terms of expecting this to happen in FM20 ME. 

A valuable attacking strategy is to suck play over to one side, then quickly switch it and exploit the other side, or to stretch both sides wide, leaving gaps in between players for clever movement.

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hello there! just downloaded the pdf. thanks a lot m8. i m feeling encouraged when someone comes up and answer some huge problematic issues players like me find all the time in the game. i wanna make a question though, if you have any idea where can we find something about triple combinations. there was a time i used a WB(a)-CM(a)-AP(s)(in the winger slot). ap coming deep and the other two sandwitching the trailing opponent or just running into space. thank you again!

 

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19 hours ago, DimitrisLar said:

hello there! just downloaded the pdf. thanks a lot m8. i m feeling encouraged when someone comes up and answer some huge problematic issues players like me find all the time in the game. i wanna make a question though, if you have any idea where can we find something about triple combinations. there was a time i used a WB(a)-CM(a)-AP(s)(in the winger slot). ap coming deep and the other two sandwitching the trailing opponent or just running into space. thank you again!

 

Hi there - can I ask you to elaborate a little - are you asking for example how to get the 2 wide players and the central player for example all in a single combination?

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18 hours ago, llama3 said:

Hi there - can I ask you to elaborate a little - are you asking for example how to get the 2 wide players and the central player for example all in a single combination?

yes, exactly. just for example i had a problem yesterday with my iwb(s)-mez(s)-w(a) combination falling on each other. Maybe it should be a iwb(s)-mez(a)-w(s) but most of times the problem in that area is solved by how i manage my other side of the pitch, especially my if(a) (or if i place there players with wrong traits but that was not the case). 

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On 04/04/2020 at 14:16, DimitrisLar said:

yes, exactly. just for example i had a problem yesterday with my iwb(s)-mez(s)-w(a) combination falling on each other. Maybe it should be a iwb(s)-mez(a)-w(s) but most of times the problem in that area is solved by how i manage my other side of the pitch, especially my if(a) (or if i place there players with wrong traits but that was not the case). 

What I'd be looking to consider is how they supply each other with the ball and how their movement interacts. In terms of ball supply - if a player is making penetrating runs (could be a wing back, or an inside forward for example), you'll need someone stationed nearby who will play the passes to put them in behind - consider examples like an AP(s) and an IF(a), or perhaps a DLP(S) and WB(a). I'd consider who is moving where too - I'd rarely use a Mezzala and a Winger - the wide movement of the Mezzala really isn't in helpful if you already have a Winger. Similarly if the centre is congested and you lack width, you need to make sure you retain some. Does that give you some ideas?

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4 hours ago, llama3 said:

I'd rarely use a Mezzala and a Winger - the wide movement of the Mezzala really isn't in helpful if you already have a Winger.

Is MEZ+Winger on the same side not a good combo? I always thought that with hugging the touchline, Winger creates a good pocket of space for MEZ to operate in (pulling the fullback wider and opening up space between him and CB for MEZ to run into).

That said, I can also see where you're coming from, if Winger pulls defence to one side, maybe MEZ would be a better option on the other side, to attack that vacated space aggressively. However, would Winger not be too isolated in that case? What role would you use behind him in a 4123, for example, if MEZ isn't a good choice?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

Is MEZ+Winger on the same side not a good combo? I always thought that with hugging the touchline, Winger creates a good pocket of space for MEZ to operate in (pulling the fullback wider and opening up space between him and CB for MEZ to run into).

That said, I can also see where you're coming from, if Winger pulls defence to one side, maybe MEZ would be a better option on the other side, to attack that vacated space aggressively. However, would Winger not be too isolated in that case? What role would you use behind him in a 4123, for example, if MEZ isn't a good choice?

BBM or RPM or CMS with roaming instructions?:idiot: But I made MEZ+Winger work in one of my tactic creating space for my aggressive wingback on the other side.

Edited by frukox

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Hi!

@llama3 you made a terrific job :D I loved the original one, and now I found this updated gem :D I would like to translate it to Hungarian and share with our community on facebook and on our website :D Would you allow it please? 

Thanks,

Márk

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44 minutes ago, orimark said:

Hi!

@llama3 you made a terrific job :D I loved the original one, and now I found this updated gem :D I would like to translate it to Hungarian and share with our community on facebook and on our website :D Would you allow it please? 

Thanks,

Márk

Hi Mark - yes you can translate it and share - can you just send me a link when it is done with me credited as author. Thanks, glad you've enjoyed it.

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