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"I watched Bend It Like Beckham and was like: 'This is what I want to do'"

6 February 2020

Watching the noughties classic Bend It Like Beckham aged 10-years-old triggered a lifetime of football, moving to the United States and an eventual contract with Crystal Palace for Eagles striker, Rea Laudat.

"I watched the film when I was 10 and was like: 'This is what I want to do," explains the 26-year-old forward in an interview with Palace TV.

"The first memories of football were playing in the garden with my brother. Then I used to go and watch him play and I remember seeing the women's team and I would say to my dad: 'I would love to play for a team.'"

Having finished school and spent time with the Leyton Orient Girls Centre of Excellence and West Ham Women, Laudat received a full scholarship to study interior architectural design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Once she finished playing and studying in the States, Laudat was set for balancing careers in design and football.

She joined Tottenham Hotspur Women, but a life in football wasn't easy with a full-time job. "Balancing work-life with football at the time was really difficult," she says. "That was something I struggled with; just purely having to sit at a desk for eight hours. 

"That was really difficult and then just mentally preparing myself to do the hour commute home to then change, grab something to eat and go again and be focussed on training. All in the midst of that, still trying to have fun.

"It’s tiring but it's something we all love to do, so we make those sacrifices. I feel like football is our weekend so we get used to that. A lot of people tend to have every weekend off, so when you get that opportunity to have the weekend off… you cherish it."

You can find out more and hear from Rea's chat with Palace TV at the end of a day at work, designing a new front room for one of her clients.

She explains more about moving to America, the knack of balancing work and football and how she began interior design.

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