AFL Draft Power Rankings: June 2024

WITH all five Under 18 National Championships sides having made an appearance as of June 9, there is no better time than now to drop our first AFL Draft Power Rankings for the year. After Harley Reid dominated top spot in 2023, this year’s crop shapes up much more evenly and with great depth throughout the projected first two rounds. That only made squeezing 30 or so prospects into our top 25 all the more difficult. At the bottom of the page is a list of players who have been in consideration.

The Power Rankings
  • #1
    Josh Smillie
    Eastern Ranges | Midfielder

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 17-05-2006

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 17-05-2006

    THE HYBRID

    Top of the crop so far in 2024, Smillie is the ultimate prospect. He draws comparisons to Carlton’s Patrick Cripps as a 194cm midfielder, but offers terrific versatility and athleticism to compliment his stoppage craft. He skippered the National Academy and Eastern Ranges, and is highly driven to earn his place as the number one draft pick. Smillie’s poise and ball use for a player his size are quite rare and make him a dynamic threat. He has posted over 30 disposals and multiple goals in three of his last four Coates Talent League outings, and while challenged in Vic Metro’s opening game, is capable of utterly dominating his peers. There’s strong competition for top spot, though.

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  • #2
    Finn O'Sullivan
    Oakleigh Chargers | Midfielder

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 30-05-2006

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 30-05-2006

    THE ALL-ROUNDER

    Our leading prospect coming into the year, O’Sullivan has been unlucky with a couple of injury setbacks. He managed 15 disposals, four tackles and five inside 50s in Round 1 of the Coates Talent League before a broken thumb sidelined him, and injured his finger in the second AFL Academy showcase – which ruled him out of Vic Country’s opening match. He’s on the mend and remains arguably the most well-rounded midfielder in a unique bunch; boasting a good turn of speed, contested nous, overhead marking ability, and a booming kick. On the flipside, he has very few glaring weaknesses to boot. O’Sullivan may have been booted from top spot for now but certainly remains in the hunt and has a good block of the season to reclaim his throne.

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  • #3
    Levi Ashcroft
    Sandringham Dragons | Midfielder

    height: 179cm

    D.O.B: 18-12-2006

    height: 179cm

    D.O.B: 18-12-2006

    STANDARD SETTER

    Ashcroft is one of the most fierce competitors in the draft crop and sets high standards for his teammates. The Sandringham Dragons co-captain hardly has a bad game and posts big numbers at each level he features in – from the Coates Talent League, to APS football, and representative level. He has a great balance of strong stoppage craft and a high running capacity to ensure he can accumulate possessions like few others can, as well as hit the scoreboard. Like brother Will, he’s tied to Brisbane as a father-son prospect and spent part of his preseason training with the Lions. He has been part of Sandringham’s consecutive premierships and could become the first player in history to win three flags in the competition if the Dragons repeat the feat this year.

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  • #4
    Jagga Smith
    Oakleigh Chargers | Midfielder

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 28-01-2006

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 28-01-2006

    MR CONSISTENT

    Having aimed to play consistent football this year, Smith has certainly lived up to that goal to-date. The prolific midfielder is in rare form of late having racked up 50 and 40 disposals in his last two Coates Talent League games, to go with an extremely polished 32 in tough conditions during Vic Metro’s opening game. Smith is lightly framed but wonderfully balanced at the contest and hardly loses his footing, able to extract the ball cleanly and zip to the outside untouched. His vision and decision making match his exquisite skills by hand and foot, all of which makes him difficult to deny as a top five talent. He also offers leadership as Oakleigh’s captain and is far and away the Chargers’ best player each time he takes the field.

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  • #5
    Luke Trainor
    Sandringham Dragons | Key Defender

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 10-04-2006

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 10-04-2006

    THE TOP TALL

    Setting himself apart as clearly the best tall talent in this year’s draft, Trainor is surrounded by midfielders in the top-end of the rankings. He measures up at 195cm but doesn’t quite play like a genuine key defender, instead working most effectively as the main interceptor and distributor – think Tom Stewart. His aerial ability is terrific, able to leap at the ball with confidence or stand under high balls and pluck them at the top of his reach. Complimenting his defensive game is some of the best composure and kicking you’re likely to see from a tall. He was best afield in the AFL Academy’s first game and is firming as a key piece for Vic Metro’s campaign.

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  • #6
    Sid Draper
    South Adelaide | Midfielder

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 05-07-2006

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 05-07-2006

    SLICK STEPPER

    A fleet of foot midfielder, Draper has overcome adversity early in his top-age year to return to top form. The South Adelaide product has seen brother Arlo make the big league and having played senior footy as a bottom-ager, is South Australia’s best prospect. He’s also the state’s captain and skippered the Panthers to an Under 18 flag last year – being best afield in the Grand Final, no less. Draper’s list of accolades is extensive and he has the rare opportunity to be a back-to-back state MVP at the National Championships. His turn of speed catches the eye, but his work rate really cuts up the opposition and he can roll forward to impact the scoreboard. Draper has also been working on his kicking on the run, which has looked quite sharp of late.

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  • #7
    Christian Moraes
    Eastern Ranges | Midfielder

    height: 183cm

    D.O.B: 08-11-2006

    height: 183cm

    D.O.B: 08-11-2006

    ENERGETIC RUNNER

    Moraes is a hard runner, particularly in attacking phases, and may go under the radar in the grand scheme of Vic Metro’s midfield brigade. He was squeezed out to the wing for the AFL Academy and played down back in Sunday’s National Championships game, but has shown over the last two seasons that he can more than hold his own as a midfielder-forward. Hailing from a basketball background, Moraes has clean hands on the inside and overhead, but thrives when he can chain possessions on the spread or outwork his opponent away from stoppages. His energy and consistent output are always impressive – hardly dipping below 25 touches in the last two seasons.

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  • #8
    Sam Lalor
    GWV Rebels | Midfielder-Forward

    height: 187cm

    D.O.B: 30-08-2006

    height: 187cm

    D.O.B: 30-08-2006

    MIDFIELD BULL

    Lalor is somewhat of an unknown within the top 10 having battled through seperate injuries this year – from a hip complaint in preseason, to foot and quad niggles more recently. He is yet to turn out for the GWV Rebels in 2024 but was solid for the AFL Academy in game two and starred in his opening APS game for Geelong Grammar with seven goals. His ability to impact up forward should hold him in good stead as he eases back into action, though the midfield is where Lalor arguably shines brightest. The big-bodied contested bull draws comparisons to Dustin Martin for his explosiveness and no-nonsense approach at the contest, able to fend off opponents and extract the ball at will. He averaged 20.3 disposals and 7.5 tackles in Rebels colours last year.

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  • #9
    Taj Hotton
    Sandringham Dragons | Forward-Midfielder

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 17-06-2006

    height: 182cm

    D.O.B: 17-06-2006

    THE GREAT UNKNOWN

    Hotton’s place in the rankings is largely out of his hands given he will take no further part in the season after suffering an ACL tear. The dynamic midfielder-forward made a magnificent start to the year, producing games like his 32-disposal, 10-mark and four-goal effort against Oakleigh in Round 2, along with a scintillating display for the National Academy as a top-up player. After injuring himself at training, those performances will be the measure of his talent. Hotton is ultra athletic, offering terrific agility and spring in his leap to compliment his ability to rack up possessions and hit the scoreboard. He’ll be well guided off-field as the son of former Blue and Pie, Trent, and brother of St Kilda’s Olli.

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  • #10
    Leonardo Lombard
    SUNS Academy | Midfielder

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 05-10-2006

    height: 178cm

    D.O.B: 05-10-2006

    COMBATIVE QUEENSLANDER

    After the Suns Academy produced four first round draftees last year, Lombard has set himself apart as the program’s leading 2024 talent. The powerful midfielder loves to get stuck in with chat and niggle on the field, but backs it up with enormous talent. He leads through actions as a player with high work rate; able to run in waves and connect with opponents on the attack, while also applying himself with strong defensive efforts. Lombard won a VFL premiership with the Suns last year and was levels above in his opening two National Championships outings, before being tested in game three. He’s a genuine top 15 talent.

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  • #11
    Matt Whitlock
    Murray Bushrangers | Key Defender

    height: 199cm

    D.O.B: 16-05-2006

    height: 199cm

    D.O.B: 16-05-2006

    RAW TALL TALENT

    Somewhat of a bolter this year, Whitlock has risen steeply in recent weeks on the back of some impressive feats. The more raw and mobile Whitlock twin, Matt started out the year in defence before swinging forward to boot 13 goals in his last four Coates Talent League games – including two bags of five. The highly dextrous tall covers enormous ground and often beats more sturdy opponents for athleticism, but is prone to a few errors which balance out that upside. Still, that kind of versatility and potential in both a footballing and athletic sense makes him one of the most exciting prospects in first round contention.

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  • #12
    Samuel Marshall
    Lions Academy | Midfielder

    height: 185cm

    D.O.B: 19-01-2006

    height: 185cm

    D.O.B: 19-01-2006

    THE WORKHORSE

    Another elite runner at the top-end of the crop, Marshall consigns the opposition to a death by a thousand cuts. He’s the kind of player who may not dominate throughout four quarters, but is consistent and can run over the top with his work rate late in games. That was best shown as he racked up 16 final quarter disposals against South Australia to finish with a game-high 30. Explosive and agile, Marshall is capable of playing inside or outside and has even had a run off half-back. He’s also a punchy kicker who can drive the ball forward in transition and link with others. The Queenslander is tied to Brisbane’s academy but boards at Melbourne Grammar and turns out for Sandringham in the Coates Talent League.

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  • #13
    Harry O'Farrell
    Calder Cannons | Key Defender

    height: 196cm

    D.O.B: 03-05-2006

    height: 196cm

    D.O.B: 03-05-2006

    THE SWINGMAN

    While certainly capable of playing at either end of the ground, O’Farrell has found a home in defence at the highest levels. He featured there for the National Academy, Vic Metro and Calder Cannons, but has also been exposed to the forward half while playing school football over the journey. The 196cm high-flyer takes up good positions behind the ball and isn’t afraid to crash packs, although can work on taking his contested marks more cleanly and consistently. O’Farrell’s athleticism and distributive skills add to his appeal as a key position prospect, to go with the versatility a swingman offers. He’ll contend to be the second-best tall behind Trainor.

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  • #14
    Tom Gross
    Oakleigh Chargers | Midfielder-Forward

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 15-09-2006

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 15-09-2006

    CRASH & BASH

    Gross is a hard-at-it midfielder who doesn’t mind throwing his frame around, and offers an edge at the contest for each team he represents. That has been evident when unleashed at the centre bounces for the AFL Academy and Vic Metro, but Gross is also capable of going forward and consistently hitting the scoreboard. He is averaging 25 disposals, four clearances and a goal for Oakleigh and has looked solid at higher levels, holding up well physically. While competitive, he can work on his end product around goal given he produces so many opportunities in the forward half. When he gets it right, Gross can be as damaging as any other midfielder-forward available.

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  • #15
    Ben Camporeale
    Glenelg | Midfielder

    height: 186cm

    D.O.B: 21-07-2006

    height: 186cm

    D.O.B: 21-07-2006

    FATHER-SON GUN

    Another twin amongst the higher reaches of the draft pool, Camporeale is certainly a chip off the old block in some regards. Much like father Scott, who played 233 games for Carlton, Ben covers the ground beautifully and is capable of racking up massive numbers. Where he sets himself apart is his size and fast-improving inside craft, able to extract the ball cleanly with plenty of power around the contest. Outside of the stoppages, the Carlton-tied talent connects well with teammates and is particularly effective by hand, but can work on his kicking. Should he continue his prolific form for Glenelg, Sacred Heart and South Australia, he’ll likely set the Blues back a hefty amount of draft points. He was best afield in last year’s Under 17 Futures match and has proven himself on the biggest of stages.

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  • #16
    Murphy Reid
    Sandringham Dragons | Midfielder

    height: 180cm

    D.O.B: 30-07-2006

    height: 180cm

    D.O.B: 30-07-2006

    PURE CLASS & POISE

    Reid timed his top performance for Vic Metro exceptionally well, and only strengthens his standing as a first round contender. The midfielder was arguably the most unlucky player to miss out on National Academy honours this year but continues to impress at school, Coates Talent League, and representative levels. While not blessed with natural pace, Reid is fleet of thought with smarts, poise and ball use being his main assets. He hardly wastes a touch and finds the ball in dangerous areas when not doing so at stoppages. He may quite fit in the top echelon like some of his Vic Metro teammates, but will only be better for waxing with them in the same midfield. Reid averaged 24 disposals, 6.3 marks and 4.7 inside 50s in his first three outings with Sandringham this year.

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  • #17
    Xavier Lindsay
    Gippsland Power | Midfielder

    height: 183cm

    D.O.B: 03-08-2006

    height: 183cm

    D.O.B: 03-08-2006

    VERSATILE LEFT-FOOTER

    Lindsay is criminally underrated at times, and perhaps even so here, but has been in exceptional form this year despite a couple of injury setbacks. After copping a corkie late in his Round 3 Coates Talent League appearance, he missed the first National Academy game before returning to feature across half-back in the second. The midfielder further showed his versatility by plying his trade on the wing for Vic Country over the weekend. His booming left-foot kicking has been a weapon on the attack in Gippsland’s side, averaging seven clearances and as many inside 50s from 26 disposals as a ball winner who can get to the outside and put speed on the play.

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  • #18
    Joe Berry
    Murray Bushrangers | Small Forward

    height: 180cm

    D.O.B: 18-04-2006

    height: 180cm

    D.O.B: 18-04-2006

    CLINICAL AND CRAFTY

    Death, taxes, and Berry booting multiple goals in every game he plays. The clinical small forward has risen steeply this year on the back of undeniable goalkicking form, posting 21 majors in seven games for the Bushrangers after a relatively lean bottom-age campaign. He also snared three for Vic Country on Sunday and is an absolute menace inside 50 with his speed and smarts. While lively at ground level, Berry is also strong overhead for his size and finds several avenues to goal – whether it be with snaps or set shot conversions. Only once has he been kept goalless this year, such is his class. Every team needs a player like him.

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  • #19
    Jobe Shanahan
    Bendigo Pioneers | Key Forward

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 02-08-2006

    height: 194cm

    D.O.B: 02-08-2006

    THE AERIALIST

    There are few better than Shanahan in the aerial game, with the Moama native boasting a clean set of hands and wonderfully fluent leap. Such traits have seen the mobile 194cm talent find a home up forward having cut his teeth in defence and even as a tall midfielder last year. Offering clear upside, he has steadily grown into his his top-age campaign with goals in each of his five games for Bendigo Pioneers, including a bag of four in Round 2, and 3.3 most recently. Shanahan is beginning to find his feet with the Allies too, presenting up the ground as a key connection piece and showing good signs each time he takes the field. He’s another of the ultra-talented National Academy members.

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  • #20
    Jack Whitlock
    Murray Bushrangers | Ruck Forward

    height: 200cm

    D.O.B: 16-05-2006

    height: 200cm

    D.O.B: 16-05-2006

    RANGY RUCK-FORWARD

    The second member of his own family to feature in our rankings, Whitlock offers a slightly different skillset to twin brother Matt. He’s a key forward who can roll through the ruck, moving well for a 200cm player and offering fantastic aerial range. His reach has troubled opposition defenders, but Whitlock is also quite handy below his knees and can latch onto the loose ball with snap goals or contributions in open play. He filled in for the National Academy’s first game and booted a goal from 16 touches for Vic Country on the weekend, to go with his 10 goals in five Coates Talent League games this season.

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  • #21
    Isaac Kako
    Calder Cannons | Small Forward

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 07-03-2006

    height: 175cm

    D.O.B: 07-03-2006

    BEE IN A BOTTLE

    Kako is an absolute livewire inside forward 50, boasting genuine speed and boundless creativity. A product of Essendon’s Next-Generation Academy, he trained with the Bombers during preseason but is unlikely to last past the first 40 picks to land at The Hangar via said eligibility. That’s great news for the other 17 clubs, who will hold his attacking acumen in high regard. Kako’s radar has been a little off in recent weeks, currently laying claim to a tally of 14.21 in eight Coates Talent League games, but he has taken on a license to move into the midfield when Calder needs a spark. There, he has impressed with hauls of 24 and 29 disposals to compliment his scoreboard impact. When he gets it right, he’s as good to watch as any prospect in the draft pool.

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  • #22
    Tobie Travaglia
    Bendigo Pioneers | Midfielder-Defender

    height: 187cm

    D.O.B: 26-10-2006

    height: 187cm

    D.O.B: 26-10-2006

    GUTSY UTILITY

    Travaglia has all the makings of a promising draft prospect, and has pushed himself into first round considerations. Having plied his trade on the wing as a bottom-ager, he has thrived with a move to defence this season to average 25 disposals, five marks and five tackles in his seven Coates Talent League games. Travaglia’s versatility is boundless, having also spent time in midfield with a rotation to the forwardline. He featured in defence for Vic Country on Sunday, showcasing his gutsy intercept marking and aerial range to go with a high work rate and terrific turn of speed on the rebound. At 187cm with dynamism and the ability to play several roles, Travaglia is one to keep an eye on.

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  • #23
    Bo Allan
    Peel Thunder | Midfielder-Defender

    height: 191cm

    D.O.B: 16-02-2006

    height: 191cm

    D.O.B: 16-02-2006

    BEST IN THE WEST

    The sole West Australian to feature in our rankings for June, Allan also shoulders his state’s captaincy. He featured for the Black Ducks at last year’s National Championships and was a bright light in a dour campaign, going on to raise his stocks as a top-ager. Allan has spent most of his junior career as a defender but was trialled up forward late last year and is now developing as a midfielder. His size, electric speed and willingness to take the game on make him an exciting player to watch in full flight. Down back, where he played two senior games to start the year, Allan is a capable interceptor and sound distributor on his favoured left foot. He is set to return to action at state level having missed game one against the Allies.

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  • #24
    Harrison Oliver
    Sandringham Dragons | Defender

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 15-06-2006

    height: 181cm

    D.O.B: 15-06-2006

    THE HEARTBEAT

    Sandringham Dragons coach Rob Harding described Oliver as the “heartbeat” of his side during preseason, and he lived up to that description in an outstanding debut for Vic Metro on Sunday. The rebound defender is incisive with ball in hand, boasting terrific foot skills and decision making. He’s constantly on the move and can mop up across the backline, before shifting tact to turn his focus into attack mode. Before heading off to school football, Oliver showed promising signs with averages of 15.3 disposals and 2.3 rebound 50s for the Dragons. His best may well be yet to come as clubs push him into top 20 calculations.

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  • #25
    Noah Mraz
    Dandenong Stingrays | Key Defender

    height: 198cm

    D.O.B: 20-02-2006

    height: 198cm

    D.O.B: 20-02-2006

    UNTAPPED TALL

    A versatile and skilful tall, Mraz has played on all three lines over the journey but looks arguably most settled down back. The 198cm talent in a capable interceptor with terrific positional sense and reading of the play to compliment his movement and aerial ability. Mraz also moves the ball efficiently by foot and has good mechanics for a tall. Having had his start to the season delayed by concussion protocols, he is currently sidelined with a foot injury which he battled through across several Coates Talent League games and one National Academy outing. Once he gets back on the park late in the season, he’ll content with the likes of O’Farrell, and Matt Whitlock to be considered among the best key defenders.

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STIFF TO MISS

An even and deep crop made cutting the initial list down to 25 names quite challenging. There remains a good handful of players who can consider themselves unlucky to have missed out this month.

 

Dandenong Stingrays pair Harvey Langford and Cooper Hynes are both quality players whose form is difficult to deny. Others with arguably more athletic upside and versatility snuck ahead of them this time around.

 

GWV Rebels key forward Jonty Faull was considered after returning with five goals in his first game of the season, but will continued to be measured once he can get a good run of games together for the Rebels and Vic Country.

 

Another in the Vic Country squad who was perhaps inside the top 25 range at the start of the year is Archer Day-Wicks. At his best, he plays with swagger and genuine class but is yet to find it consistently in 2024.

 

Vic Metro dominates the list with 11 players featuring, and plenty more on the cutting room floor. Northern pair Zak Johnson and Jesse Dattoli are on the precipice, along with mercurial Sandringham forward Bailey McKenzie and Calder hard nut Damon Hollow.

 

The Allied states also have some promising talent left over. Joshua Murphy has great traits as a power forward and midfielder Nathaniel Sulzberger threatened to storm up the order with some strong preseason performances.

 

Giants Academy ruck Logan Smith did his stocks no harm in the early part of the season, either. Of late, Adelaide father-son Tyler Welsh has been in ominous form after booting 12 goals in his last two appearances.

 

Welsh’s partner in crime Charlie Nicholls has potential as a key forward in the mix, while defender Angus Clarke and forward Jacob Newton continue to emerge. Lucas Camporeale has mid-draft potential too.

 

Small forward Malakai Champion has long been noted as WA’s next best talent, though ruck-forward Kayle Gerreyn can do some nice things and utilities like Cody Angove and Hamish Davis are rising in estimations.

BREAKDOWN

Allies (3):
Leonardo Lombard (10) – Suns Academy
Sam Marshall (12) – Lions Academy
Jobe Shanahan (19)

 

South Australia (2):
Sid Draper (6)
Ben Camporeale (15) – Carlton F/S

 

Vic Country (8):
Finn O’Sullivan (2)
Sam Lalor (9)
Matt Whitlock (11)
Xavier Lindsay (17)
Joe Berry (18)
Jack Whitlock (20)
Tobie Travaglia (22)
Noah Mraz (25)

 

Vic Metro (11):
Josh Smillie (1)
Levi Ashcroft (3) – Brisbane F/S
Jagga Smith (4)
Luke Trainor (5)
Christian Moraes (7)
Taj Hotton (8)
Harry O’Farrell (13)
Tom Gross (14)
Murphy Reid (16)
Isaac Kako (21) – Essendon NGA
Harrison Oliver (24)

 

Western Australia (1):
Bo Allan (23)

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