Siyabonga Sangweni is the oldest member of the Bafana Bafana 2013 Afcon squad

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Bafana Bafana head into their 8th Africa Cup of Nations with the slightest age group difference of all the squads

Posted: 18 January 2013 Time: 19:33

Bafana Bafana head into their 8th Africa Cup of Nations with the slightest age group difference of all the squads that have ever represented the country at the continent’s biggest football competition.

Just nine years separate the oldest and youngest player in the current squad with Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni the 'elder’ at 31 while Tokelo Rantie is the ‘baby’ at 22.

The age difference between the oldest and youngest players in all the squads that have represent Mzansi at all the seven previous tournaments that Bafana has competed in has never been a single figure like it is this year.

The biggest age difference has been 15 years which was at the Burkina Faso finals in 1998 when Jomo Sono took a then 17 year-old Aaron Mokoena and 32 year-old John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu in the same squad.

Six years later at the finals played in Tunisia Moshoeu – 38 by then – and Mokoena who was 23 were still the oldest and youngest in the squad with that 15 years gap remaining intact.

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Ironically, Shoes remains the oldest player to be selected for the Afcon finals at 38 while Mbazo remains the youngest squad member as he had just turned 17 when he went to the 1998 finals.

When Bafana first appeared at the Afcon finals – hosted by the country in 1996 - Neil Tovey was the oldest at 33 while Mark Fish the youngest at 21 leaving a 12 years gap between the two.

At the 2000 finals Moshoeu was again the grootman at 34, 13 years older than Steve Lekoelea who was 21.

In 2002 Andre Arendse was the oldest at 34 with Mbazo again the youngest at 21 – a 13 years age group remained in place again.

When Bafana travelled to the disastrous 2006 finals in Egypt Pierre Issa – remember him – was the oldest at 30 while Lebohang ‘Cheeseboy’ Mokoena aged 19.

The last time that Bafana were at the AFCON finals in 2008 the then 32 year-old Sibusiso Zuma was the oldest with Tumelo Nhlapo – called in as a late replacement – the youngest after celebrating his 20th birthday on the day the tournament started.

Article by: Lovemore Moyo

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 08:39 am

LOoooooooooooooooL Man,

Missing text: Bafana must show us for the something, something for the 1996 a$$, 1998 final or what what. They must Somebody
posted: 08:41 am

We only hope that GI listens man, lets wait and support everyone.
Mthinayi (Bugs Killer)
posted: 08:41 am
I'm glad about ticket sales so far, the target was 500000 tickets before the opening game. Yesterday we were sitting at 565000 tickets sold during midday,

Asiyeni maSouth africans, I have already purchased 5 for my family. And I'm still looking forward to buy more tickets for 27th game in Moses Mabida.
To me its clear this be most tickets sold ever in Afcon history this 2013 tournament.
posted: 11:07 am
some people are retards,the article never says anything about Chiefs but people are on about Chiefs. domkops!!!!!!!!!!!!
Champ Dee
posted: 12:40 pm

why limit Sangweni's achievements to only one season? has he played football for one season only?
posted: 02:22 pm
Age difference won't win the tournament, it can be 20 or more age gap between players but it doesn't matter. Only experiance that matters. Go BB n make us proud
The Ghost
posted: 04:47 pm
U 'Ntsimbi' will be the rock of ages at the back. Attackers win games, but defenders win tournaments. UP BAFANA BAFANA, UP THE BUCS!!!!!!!
Real Yellow-man
posted: 02:00 pm
Editor there is no story here baba!!
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