Ref Kevin Clancy set for first Edinburgh derby

REFEREE Kevin Clancy will take charge of his first Edinburgh derby when Hibernian host Hearts this weekend in the Scottish Championship.

Kevin Clancy referee (St Johnstone v Celtic - 14th Feb 2015)
Quick progression: It is almost three years to the day since Clancy refereed his first game in the Scottish Premier League (Picture from Sky Sports)

REFEREE Kevin Clancy will take charge of his first Edinburgh derby when Hibernian host Hearts this weekend in the Scottish Championship.

The 31-year-old Fifa official will be the man in the middle when play-off chasing Hibs welcome the newly-crowned champions to Easter Road in Sunday’s televised game (KO 2:15pm, live on Sky Sports).

He will be assisted by linesmen Alan Mulvanny and Frank Connor while the fourth official will be fellow Category One official Don Robertson.

Clancy has officiated 30 games in all competitions so far this season – brandishing 102 yellow cards, sending off four players and awarding four penalties.

He awarded two spotkicks to Hearts and sent off their midfielder Prince Buaben in his only encounter with the Jambos this term against Falkirk at the end of August.

It will be his first Hibernian match for almost a year since their 2-0 defeat at St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

Kevin Clancy watches on (Stranraer v Dundee Utd - 8th Feb 2015)
Second tier: The Edinburgh derby will represent Clancy’s fifth game in the Scottish Championship this season (Picture from Sky Sports)

Clancy has already had a busy start to 2015 which has confirmed his growing status among Scotland’s leading contingent of referees.

The Renfrewshire-based whistler oversaw his first Dundee derby on New Year’s Day at Tannadice before assuming fourth official duties for the Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle two days later.

He has overseen four Celtic games in the calendar year as well as a Scottish Cup quarter-final and was the fourth official for the League Cup Final at Hampden Park.

Clancy was in the middle as recently as Tuesday night when overseeing a Premiership match between Ross County and St Johnstone at the Global Energy Stadium for the second time this season.

He first took up the whistle in 2000 and was admitted to the Scottish FA five years later.

Clancy was promoted to a Category One referee in 2009 and – having hugely impressed in the SFL – oversaw his first SPL match in April 2012.

Such was his fast progression, he was even recognised by Fifa – one of seven currently from Scotland on the list – before his promotion to the top-flight had been confirmed.

Kevin Clancy watches on (Kilmarnock v Celtic - 5th Jan 2015)
Return: It will Clancy’s first trip to Easter Road since taking charge of last season’s Challenge Cup Final (Picture from Sky Sports)

Clancy’s most high-profile appointments came last season when he officiated his only major final to date in the Ramsdens Cup – also at Easter Road – as Raith Rovers shocked Rangers and the Championship play-off semi first leg between Hamilton Accies and Falkirk.

He was also the fourth official to Craig Thomson for the 2013 League Cup Final at Hampden Park when St Mirren beat Hearts 3-2 and was part of the same referee’s team as an additional assistant in last season’s Scottish Cup Final at Celtic Park involving St Johnstone.

Clancy has been at the helm for several low-key Europa League matches and been behind the goal as a member of Willie Collum’s Champions League group of officials.

He is widely regarded as a lenient and respectable referee who keeps control of games well and rarely attracts controversy.

This season’s other Edinburgh derbies have been overseen by fellow Fifa officials Willie Collum, Bobby Madden and Steven McLean.

Hibs have not won any of the last four meetings with their capital neighbours since the 2014 New Year derby and sit third in the table, three points behind second-placed Rangers.

Hearts – who wrapped up the title a fortnight ago and are 26 points clear at the top – won the first derby of the season in August but the two subsequent meetings have been drawn.

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