Ultimate Goal – series two: Anya Donelan & Mollie Rouse

Anya Donelan and Mollie Rouse are two of the 16 players participating in the second series of Ultimate Goal on BT Sport, where young hopefuls competed for a chance to play in front of scouts from women’s teams around the world in a bid to become the next female football star.

Both Donelan and Rouse had several years of experience of playing college soccer in the United States before entering the Ultimate Goal process in a bid to make their mark back home.

It is a path that is not uncommon among emerging English talent, giving players a different emphasis in their development than if they solely trained and played at home.

Emerging senior England internationals like Alessia Russo and Lotte Wubben-Moy have both returned home from U.S. college spells within the last couple of years, while the most famous example is 2020 FIFA award winner Lucy Bronze, who spent a portion of 2009 training and playing for the legendary University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Donelan, who spent two years each playing at Monroe College and the University of Akron, and Rouse, who was at the University of Louisville and later the University of Central Florida, agreed that the American mentality and focus on the physical side helped develop a different edge to their game.

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