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Girls score dream ticket to the US.

Byline: By Jenny Waddington

THE story of Bend it Like Beckham is becoming reality for two girls who have scored a place in American football teams.

Joanne Ryan and Sanjeet Jaspel are mirroring the box-office hit in which two girl footballers win scholarships to play their muchloved sport in America.

They were spotted by an American coach playing for Coventry City Girls Development Football Club against Manchester girls at Old Trafford and are both set to jet out to their new lives in the USA in August.

They will even get the chance to visit the LA Galaxy ground where their idol David Beckham plays.

Nineteen-year-old Joanne from Little Field, in Stoke Heath, is a trainee hairdresser by day and a top striker for Coventry Girls at night.

The teenager, who dreams of playing for England before she is 25, was spotted after her team thrashed their Manchester rivals 13-1.

She was offered a sought-after place at Middle Georgia College, playing for the Georgia Warriors.

She said: "I couldn't believe it. I always hoped this would happen but it is a real shock when you realise that you're off to America.

"My favourite film is Bend it Like Beckham and now when I watch it, I say to my mum 'that's what's happening to me, it's my life'."

Joanne, who has been playing football since she was five years old, joined her team eight years ago and practises four times a week.

She is also training to be a hairdresser at the Heart of England Training College in Market Way, Coventry.

Sanjeet, aged 18, from Pagets Lane, Bubbenhall, also landed a ticket to America.

However, she has still not decided which college place to accept.

The central midfielder said: "I am still in shock, it is something you dream about but you never think it will actually happen.

"My family are just as surprised as I am."

The teenager is currently completing her A-levels at Princethorpe College in Leamington Road, Princethorpe.

Sanjeet added: "None of my college friends knew I played until recently and when they found out, they were really pleased that I showed how good girls can be at football."


NEW GOAL... Joanne Ryan and Sanjeet Jaspel will soon be heading to America. They will see the ground where David Beckham (below) plays for LA Galaxy.; HIT... Girls from the box office hit Bend It Like Beckham cheering on the footie field.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 4, 2008
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