Alex Paulsen interview

A life long mate and a real good guy. Read Alex Paulsen's journey from the humble beginnings to making it Pro and playing for the Wellington Phoenix. 
    1. Tell us a bit about yourself – raised where, growing up ect

    Where do I start hahaha. A bit about myself, I’m born and bred in Aotearoa, however my ethnic descendants originate from South Africa and Namibia, where my mom and dad grew up in Cape town before moving to New Zealand, as demonstrated from my frizzy afro haircut.  

    I was raised in Auckland, floating in and out of St Heliers and Remuera before deciding to move down to Wellington at 15. I went to St Heliers Primary School from year 3 to year 8, and then branching off to Auckland grammar for year 9 and Selwyn College for year 10, then finishing off my last 3 years at Scots College on a football scholarship. 

    I loved my sport! I grew up playing Water Polo/Flippaball, Touch Rugby, Football, Futsal, and Cricket. I wish I could play them all, but unfortunately I had to make a decision on which sport I wanted to pursue the most!

    I met Michael actually back when I was eight years old where we both played at the same football club, Eastern Suburbs, and at the same cricket team, the lovely parnellions, and played at the different age group levels throughout our childhood. Ever since then, we’ve become close mates.   

    Also, if you ain’t an anime lover, then we can’t be friends hahaha.

     

    1. When younger did you always want to be a pro footballer? Or did you know you had it in you?

    Hahaha funny you say that as I’ve always had the dream of making a profession out of the three sports I loved; Cricket, Football, and Futsal. Realistically, the path to professional football made more sense to follow with respect to the environment and opportunities awaiting for me in the footballing route. Being under the guidance and mentorship of Onehunga Sports (Auckland United now), they had idealized professional football in an organized youth player pathway through the Wellington Phoenix Soccer Schools. This helped me progress to being scouted by the Wellington Phoenix Academy in Wellington, and the rest is history. 

    1. What does your week look like? Job, weekend, outside of work.

    It's weird haha. My work doesn’t consist of a 9 to 5 schedule nor does it feel surreal that I play football professionally, but it sure is the best job in the world. We have training sessions in the morning with the afternoon free to go out and do what we want. Outside of work, I like to go and explore Sydney as I’ve organized a tourist attraction bucket list of destinations and activities I want to do while being based near Sydney. So, sometimes on my weekends or days off, I like to go out and travel with my film camera!

    1. Do you have any daily habits.

    Usually a day in the life of a professional footballer looks like coming into training at 9am for an 11:00am start, we usually get in earlier before 9am to do extra prehab exercises, stretching, strength and conditioning work. Then we have a video analysis session about the opposition before we head off to train at 11:00am. After training is done, we have team lunch at around 12:30pm finishing at 1:00pm. Afterwards, some of us boys like to play a couple of card games and have a coffee at a local cafe shop at around 1:30pm-2:30pm. Then around 4:00pm after heading back to the hotel, I like to recover well by going to a local recovery centre nearby Chatswood. I usually give myself a decent hour and a half for ice and hot spas, and Noematic Recovery which is leg compression boots for increased blood flow and recovery from intense training sessions. At 6:30-7:00pm I cook some dinner and finish the day by doing University work, football analysis, and reading a book. Then bedtime at 9:30pm 

    1. What are some of you biggest learnings to date and knowing what you know now what advice would you give yourself.

    A life lesson that I will stick with throughout my life - Don’t conform to somebody you're not. Don’t change your personality through the pressure of others. You're unique for a reason, if others don’t want to understand, that's their problem. 

    A football lesson or sporting lesson in general - Experiment, take risks, and enjoy the thrill of trying something new or that is outside your comfort zone. You will never know, if you don’t try. Be open-minded, optimistic, and ambitious, not close-minded and tunnel visioned. 

    1. What’s next in your life’s chapter, any exciting ventures or goals for the future 

    It’s exciting what the future holds but my next big goal since becoming a professional is to look to play in Europe. However, for the meantime at the Wellington Phoenix, I want to cement my N.O2 position and look at becoming the NO1 goalkeeper for the Wellington Phoenix in the future. 

     

    Alex