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First Team

Cherries complete signing of goalkeeper Paulsen

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

We are delighted to announce the signing of highly-rated goalkeeper Alex Paulsen.

The 21-year-old has joined the Cherries from Australian A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix.

Born in Auckland, Paulsen has been capped by New Zealand at under-17 and under-23 level and is expected to feature for his country in the summer Olympic Games in Paris.

He won a host of awards following Phoenix’s record-breaking 2023/24 campaign and was named in the A-League All Stars men’s team.

On joining the Cherries, Paulsen said: “I’m humbled to be considered worthy of signing with AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.

“It means the world to me, my family and to my friends to be offered an opportunity to play in the best league on the planet, which most aspiring young footballers only dream of.”

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: "We're very pleased to secure Alex's services. He's an exciting prospect with so much potential, and his development has been clear for all to see during an excellent season in the A-League.

"We look forward to welcoming Alex to Bournemouth in early July, where we plan to introduce him to Andoni and the rest of the team before he departs for what will be a great opportunity to represent his country at the Olympics."

Paulsen kept 12 clean sheets in 28 games in all competitions for Wellington Phoenix, helping them qualify for the A-League end-of-season play-offs.

He also kept clean sheets in Olympic qualifiers against Vanuatu and Fiji as the All Whites booked their ticket to France as the Oceania representative.

Paulsen was elevated to the first-team ranks at Wellington after being named the most valuable player while playing for the club’s reserves in the National League in 2020/21.

A graduate of the Phoenix academy, Paulsen first shot to prominence when he starred in New Zealand’s 1-0 win against Canada at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019.

In January 2022, he saved three penalties in a shootout against Melbourne City as Phoenix booked a place in the semi-finals of the Australia Cup for the first time in their history.

His breakthrough season came in 2023/24 when Paulsen emerged as one of the best shot-stoppers in the A-League following a string of eye-catching performances.

Born in New Zealand to a South African father and Namibian mother, Paulsen started his career with Auckland-based Onehunga Sports who had a partnership with Wellington Phoenix.

He started both legs of Wellington’s A-League play-off final against Melbourne Victory, Phoenix going down 2-1 on aggregate.

Capped four times by New Zealand at under-23 level, he will be hoping to gain further recognition when the All Whites meet hosts France, the United States and Guinea in the Olympics.

Paulsen was one of five Phoenix players named in the 2024 A-League All Stars men’s team which played Premier League Newcastle United during Global Football Week in Melbourne in May.

He was also named in the Professional Footballers’ Australia team of the season for 2023/24, the goalkeeper receiving the highest number of votes and also being made captain.

At the Wellington Phoenix awards ceremony, he was named men’s players’ player of the year, members’ player of the year and members’ under-23 player of the year.

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