Banyana Banyana head to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup next month boasting one surprising record at the tournament.
The South African Senior Women’s national team are set to descend upon France for the eighth edition of the quadrennial women’s world championships, which kicks off next Friday, June 7.
Coach Desire Ellis has trimmed her squad to 23 for the finals, with FIFA having since issued confirmation thereof as well as that of the other 23 nations due to compete.
One striking revelation picked up from the squad lists was that Banyana in fact boast the shortest average height of players, with their tallest being goalkeeping duo Mapaseka Mpuru and Andile Dlamini at 169 centimetres.
Every other team except for SA have registered more than a couple players over the 1,7-metre mark, while the tallest player at the competition will be France defender Wendie Renard towering in at 1,87m.
Meanwhile, Chile’s 19-year-old forward Javiera Grez has been registered as the shortest player of the 552 players set to partake, coming in at just 148cm – six centimetres shorter than Banyana’s shortest player 29-year-old Rhoda Mulaudzi.
Nonetheless, Ellis and her troops will have every all the more reason to prove that dynamite comes in small packages.
Banyana kick-off their campaign on Saturday, June 8, with their opening Group B test against Spain at the Stade Océane in Le Havre – kick-off is scheduled for 18h00.
Banyana Banyana’s full squad – with heights:
1. Mapaseka MPURU (Tuks LFC, SA) – 169cm
16. Andile DLAMINI (Mamelodi Sundowns LFC, SA) – 169cm
20. Kaylin SWART SWART (Golden Stars FC, SA) – 165cm
2. Lebohang RAMALEPE (Ma-Indies FC, SA) – 155cm
3. Nothando VILAKAZI (FK Gintra Universitas, LTU) – 160cm
4. Noko MATLOU (Ma-Indies FC, SA) – 166
5. Janine VAN WYK (JVW FC, SA) – 164cm
7. Karabo DHLAMINI (Mamelodi Sundowns LFC, SA) – 161cm
13. Bambanani MBANE (Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies, SA) – 162cm
14. Tiisetso MAKHUBELA (Mamelodi Sundowns LFC, SA) – 161cm
18. Bongeka GAMEDE (Univ. of Western Cape, SA) – 159cm
6. Mamello MAKHABANE (JVW FC, SA) – 159cm
10. Linda MOTLHALO (Beijing BG Phoenix FC, CHN) – 162cm
15. Refiloe JANE (no club affiliation) – 159cm
17. Leandra SMEDA (Vittsjo GIK, SWE) – 165cm
19. Kholosa BIYANA (Univ. of KwaZulu Natal, SA) – 160cm
21. Busisiwe NDIMENI (Tshwane Univ. of Technology, SA) – 160cm
23. Sibulele HOLWENI (Sophakama Ladies, SA) – 156cm
8. Ode FULUTUDILU (Malaga CF, ESP) – 165cm
9. Amanda MTHANDI (Univ. of Johannesburg, SA) – 160cm
11. Thembi KGATLANA (Beijing BG Phoenix FC, CHN) – 156cm
12. Jermaine SEOPOSENWE (FK Gintra Universitas, LTU) – 167cm
22. Rhoda MULAUDZI (no club affiliation) – 154cm