Steven McLean to oversee Celtic’s Hamilton visit

Referee Steven McLean will officiate Celtic’s trip to Hamilton Academical for the second season running when the Scottish Premiership champions visit New Douglas Park on Sunday.

Steven McLean referee (Rangers v Hibernian - 23rd August 2015)
Vast improvement: McLean has been officiating in the Scottish top-flight since 2007 but has stepped up as a senior official in recent seasons (Picture from Sky Sports)

STEVEN McLean will take charge of Celtic for the second time in a fortnight when the Scottish Premiership champions travel to Hamilton Academical on Sunday.

The 34-year-old was only in the middle for the Hoops’ 6-0 thrashing of Dundee at Celtic Park on September 20 – awarding Ronny Deila’s side a penalty that Emilio Izaguirre missed.

He will be ably assisted at New Douglas Park by Graeme Stewart and Stuart MacMillan with Brian Colvin on fourth official duties for the lunchtime kick-off (12:30pm, live on BT Sport 1).

Glasgow-based McLean was also at the helm for the corresponding fixture last term as Celtic ran out 2-0 winners in north Lanarkshire.

It will be the official’s eighth top-flight game of the season and his second involving Hamilton after handling their 4-0 win over Dundee United last month.

The Fifa whistler will first be in Belgium on Thursday evening to oversee Club Bruges’ Group D Europa League clash with Danish outfit FC Midtjylland.

Before that, he has handled 10 games in all competitions – brandishing 39 yellow cards, awarding four penalties and his only red card was shown to Hearts defender Juwon Oshaniwa in their 2-0 defeat at Inverness earlier this month.

McLean – who is also a qualified fitness instructor – has officiated a league game in every round of fixtures this season including the Scottish Championship clash and is yet to fulfill the role of fourth official.

His most recent Premiership game was at Fir Park last weekend in which he handed out seven yellow cards in managerless Motherwell’s 2-1 victory over winless Partick Thistle.

McLean – the brother of former Ross County defender Brian – will be remembered by Celtic fans for failing to send off Inverness defender Josh Meekings for a deliberate handball on the goalline in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park in April.

It was one of four Celtic matches that McLean officiated in 2014-15 including the 1-0 home reverse against Hamilton at Parkhead almost a year ago to the day.

His only other Hamilton game – aside from the two against the Hoops – was their 3-2 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in May in which he issued four yellow cards in a largely incident-free contest.

McLean – who handled 23 top-flight games last season – oversaw the 2014 League Cup Final and last season’s semi-final between Aberdeen and Dundee United.

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