Alex Paulsen has been a leading light at WPSS for a number of years now. The young goalkeeper has been a stand out over the last few seasons and at the start of 2018 began a new chapter in his career with a move to the WPFA in Wellington to try and make his professional playing dream a reality.
WPSS caught up with its former shot stopper to get the low down on his new surroundings.
WPSS – What does your new life look like down in Wellington? Can you describe what your week at the WPFA consists of?
Paulsen – My new life down in Wellington is very different, independence, accountability and responsibility are new challenges as I am no longer living with my family and I am enjoying putting the life skills I learnt at WPSS into practice. My average week here at WPFA consists of 4 trainings per week with an extra strength and conditioning programme twice a week – early in the morning with a game on a Tuesday.
WPSS – How do you feel you are settling into your new routine and what are you enjoying most in your new environment?
Paulsen – I feel I still need to adapt to my new daily routine as it is a big change in my new environment, managing my schedule and managing everyday balance between football and academic commitments. What I am enjoying most in my new environment is everything in Wellington is compact, in close proximity to fields, shops, 15 minute bus ride to the city. The Boarding house Master takes care of all his boarding students, all the teachers are kind and I feel comfortable.
WPSS – What have been the biggest challenges making the move and how have you overcome these?
Paulsen – The biggest challenge making the move is missing loved ones and especially my family as they have been a huge influence and guidance to my learning mentally and physically. I overcome this by using my dream as my motivation to keep working hard and making the most of every opportunity that I have here.
WPSS – What do you think you learned at WPSS that you feel prepared you the most for your move to the WPFA?
Paulsen – Continual guidance from Hiroshi Miyazawa and the WPSS staff on areas I needed to improve on. Impressing on me the need to have a stronger mentality, a more aggressive mindset, and learning how to control it in difficult situations or different scenarios I think prepared me well for the move to the WPFA. Also to have discipline in my training, understanding that what you put in is what you get out of your training session and acknowledging that each training condition will differ from each other and to embrace that and take as much as I can from every experience. WPSS not just enhanced my ability as a goal keeper but also my maturity as a young man that I feel has helped me cope with the change well.
WPSS – Now you are settled in, what are your goals for the year and how are you going to achieve them?
Paulsen – My main goal for this year is to make the U17 squad for New Zealand and particapate in the Oceanic Football Confederation Qualifers that will be held in the Solomon Islands. I am going to achieve this goal by demanding more quality from myself each training session and gain as much knowledge from other goalkeepers to improve my level of goalkeeping. In this environment I can learn different positioning and cathing techniques from the likes of the professional goal keepers Oliver Sail and Lewis Italiano. Zac Jones, Zac Dean and Callum Kennit pushing me is also helping me improve my goalkeeping.