Douglas McLean was born on the 25th June 1916 in St Peters and joined Norwood in 1934 from the College Park Football Club, along with his younger brother Alan (Bob) McLean.
The brothers commenced with the Norwood Association (reserves) team but while Bob was promoted to the league team in August, Doug, a 193cm ruckman/forward, continued with the B team for the remainder of the year. Newspaper reports were positive however, including The News noting that he was a “very safe mark and gets long distances with his kicking” (19th July 1934, p 15)
Doug played in the 1935 pre-season trials and again commenced with the association team until he gained league selection for the sixth round against Sturt at Adelaide Oval. Norwood were without six of its regular players and The Advertiser (June 3 1935, p8) reported that D. McLean was “the best of the new contingent.” High praise, especially as the other debutants that day included future Norwood Hall of Famers Tom Warhurst and Albert Sawley.
He retained his place for the following two games but was relegated to the association team following an 88 point defeat by South Adelaide. He did not regain senior selection for the rest of the season apart from an exhibition game against Yorketown in July when he was injured with torn ligaments. He did however rate a mention in a song written for the team’s visit to Yorke Peninsular. To the tune of ‘Flying Trapeze’, the lyrics included the line ‘ There’s Tugwell from Victor and Douglas McLean' (The Pioneer 28 June 1935, p 3)
In 1936 Doug was selected at half forward for the fourth round league match against South Adelaide at Adelaide Oval and went on to play another five senior games. He sustained an ankle injury in a ‘vigorous’ match against Port Adelaide on 15th August, which proved to be his last league appearance for Norwood.
It was reported in April 1937 that D. McLean was training with South Adelaide and intended to apply for a clearance from Norwood but his name does not appear in subsequent newspaper reports of South Adelaide games.
Doug McLean showed glimpses of good form at Norwood but, unlike his younger brother Bob, could not secure a permanent spot in the league team. Bob McLean continued with Norwood until 1938 after which he transferred to Port Adelaide where he had a long and distinguished career as a player and later, club secretary.
Doug enlisted in the Australian Army in 1940 and was discharged in 1942. He passed away in 1974
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