Football: Alex Paulsen's Bournemouth signing opens pipeline between Wellington Phoenix, English Premier League

Given the whirlwind nature of the last six weeks, Alex Paulsen has to remember to take a breath.

"If you take into account where I was last season, I would say it's quicker than usual," he admitted. "I'm lost for words, to be fair."

After just one full season as the Phoenix starting goalkeeper, Paulsen will leave for a club-record $4 million, after signing a four-year deal with AFC Bournemouth in the English Premier League. 

Alex Paulsen in action for the Phoenix.
Alex Paulsen in action for the Phoenix. Photo credit: Photosport

The shotstopper kept a dozen clean sheets and saved three penalties this season, on his way to scooping A-League Goalkeeper of the Year and Young Player of the Year, and Phoenix Fans' Favourite of the Year. 

"Normally, the goalkeepers are 2-3 years behind outfielders in terms of their progression," said Phoenix keeping coach Ruben Parker. "At 21, for AP to be making the move to what's regarded the best league in the world..." 

Paulsen concedes Bournemouth's level of intent and direction are a big reason he opted for them over bigger-name clubs, understood to be Chelsea and Liverpool.

"I don't think they'd be giving me a four-year deal, if they didn't have an action plan or process put in place, so I can get game time and continue to develop, and hopefully, one day play in the premier league.

Paulsen's just the latest Phoenix product picked up by an overseas club, but he has by far the most lucrative deal. That will be another critical stream of revenue, while the Phoenix continue to show they can pave the path for players.

"There's a lot of noise around some of the players at the moment," said football director Shaun Gill. "A couple of agents are in regular contact about potential clubs that are interested in a couple of players."

As for Paulsen, he'll have to go back to being a 'Nix fan, just like he's been since he was a kid.