Referee for Wednesday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hibernian at Fir Park will be Steven McLean.
McLean, brother of former ‘Well defender Brian, will be handling his third ‘Well game of the current campaign having previously taking charge of the league opener against Inverness Caley back in July and the 3-1 win over Dundee United in September.
The 30-year old will be a familiar face to ‘Well fans having overseen three matches during the 2010/11 campaign too.
His first was his Motherwell ‘debut’ – a 2-1 win over Saturday’s opponents United at Fir Park one year ago. A couple of own goals gave The Steelmen the points despite David Goodwillie slamming home a penalty after McLean had adjudged skipper Stephen Craigan to have handled inside the area.
His next was at Pittodrie when Motherwell took on Aberdeen for the first time since Craig Brown’s departure. A scintillating display from Stuart McCall’s men gave the Steelmen all three points after coming from behind to win 2-1. It was a difficult game for McLean to handle but, despite howls of protest from the home stands, the young official had an excellent evening and showed composure in the face of difficult circumstances.
Finally, he was the man in the middle for another clash against Aberdeen, this time at Fir Park. A game more remembered for things that happened off the park after the final whistle; on the park the Steelmen won 2-1 again thanks to goals from Chris Humphrey and Shaun Hutchinson.
McLean began his refereeing career back in 1997, aged just 16, but had to wait six years before being promoted to the SFA Senior List. It took him a further four years (June 2007) to get promoted to a Category 1 where he has spent the last three years handling SFL and ALBA Challenge Cup games as well as gaining experience as a fourth official at SPL matches.
He eventually made his bow in Scotland’s top league when he took charge of Aberdeen’s 1-0 away win at McDiarmid Park over two years ago. A late Darren Mackie goal was enough to give the Dons all three points and McLean had a good afternoon, booking five players in a competitive contest.
McLean has been exceptionally busy this season too – handling 13 SPL games. The most recent was Celtic’s controversial 1-0 win over Inverness CT a week or so ago. The whistler sent two players off during the match with the league-leaders Daniel Majstorovic having his card rescinded following an appeal.
He also had the distinction of being the man in charge of Sweden’s 5-0 demolition of San Marino in the Euro 2012 qualifier.
McLean will be ably assisted by Martin Cryans and John Gilmour with Des Roache on fourth official duties.