#40 ALEX PAULSEN BIO – 4/7/02
Paulsen joined the first team on a three-year pro contract in 2021 after being named the most valuable player in the 2020/21 national league while playing for the club’s reserves.
The young goalkeeper first made a name for himself at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019, starring in New Zealand’s 1-0 win over Canada.
Paulsen was already with the Phoenix academy by this stage, but it wasn’t until the 2020/21 season that he became the regular no. 1 for the reserves, starting all but one of their league matches in his MVP season.
He then went to start the first 10 matches of Lower Hutt City’s Central League season before being named as a travelling reserve for New Zealand’s Olympic squad in Japan.
> 2021/2022 A-League season
Paulsen made his A-League debut just five matches into his maiden season, after Oli Sail sustained an injury in the first half of the Phoenix’s game against Sydney FC.
He deputised for a further two league matches, but it was in the FFA Cup where Paulsen made headlines.
The 19-year-old was the hero of the Phoenix’s quarter-final against reigning A-League champions Melbourne City, making three saves in the shoot-out.