Alex Cichanowski Shield returns to Coopers Stadium as Original Rivalry precursor

Adelaide United is delighted to announce the return of the Alex Cichanowski Shield to Coopers Stadium to launch the South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL) 2022 season.

The match will occur before the Reds’ massive Original Rivalry clash against Melbourne Victory on Saturday, 2 April.

The Alex Cichanowski Shield started in 1984 and under its current format sees the winners from the respective Saturday and Sunday Premier Divisions play off as a prelude to the SAASL season.

This year’s iteration pits Saturday Premier Division Champions, Modbury Jets, against Sunday Premier Division Champions, Elizabeth Downs, to kick-off the upcoming SAASL season.

It will be the second time in three years that the Alex Cichanowski Shield will be fought at Coopers Stadium as a precursor to an Isuzu UTE A-League game, after BOSA FC faced Brahma Lodge two years ago.

In March 2020, the Club and the SAASL communicated an exciting partnership which enabled the organisation to get access to football department resources and ticket giveaways.

Mr Alex Cichanowski was integral in ensuring the SAASL’s future when he assumed the position of General Secretary in 1971, a volunteer role he held until his passing in 2017. 

Under his tenure, the SAASL expanded and is now recognised in South Australia as the largest senior amateur men’s football competition. Mr Cichanowski’s perceptive leadership in sports administration, also saw him appointed as Chairman of the South Australian Soccer Federation (SASF) from 1982 until 1987, and again in 1990.

Mr Cichanowski was accorded a Life Membership of both the SAASL and SASF and also served as an inaugural board member of Adelaide United in the 2003/04 National Soccer League season.

In 2003 he was inducted into Football SA Hall of Fame – Hall of Honour for his outstanding contribution to football as an administrator.

Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Kosmina, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back the SAASL to Coopers Stadium and showcase their official opener for the 2022 season.

“Obviously, on-going restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years have hindered our efforts to bring this match back to Coopers Stadium.

“We’re excited to have this game played prior to one of the most important games of the year against Melbourne Victory.”
The SAASL President, George Fotopoulos, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have the Alex Cichanowski Shield back at the home of football in South Australia – Coopers Stadium.

“Covid has certainly offered up many challenges, but we’re hopeful we’ve navigated the worst of it as we look to strengthen our partnership with Adelaide United moving forward.”