SCOTT Maclean is leaving Eastwood School after an amazing 18 years of sporting progress.

When Maclean first arrived at the school in 1994 he was unable to field a football team in any of the year groups.

But, thanks to his infectious enthusiasm and impressive work-rate, Maclean has completely transformed Eastwood’s fortunes.

And he departs having won 27 football cups and reached 14 national athletics and cross country finals in the past nine years.

“When I first came here there was a lack of interest in sport and it didn’t play a major role in the school,” said Maclean.

“I knew the talent was there though and I knew the pupils would be interested if we could get through to them.

“My first target was to be able to field football teams and I achieved that within a year.

“After that I set myself more goals and we’ve been able to reach most of them.

“The turnaround has been fantastic and it’s not just on the sports side.

“When I first joined the pass rate of the pupils for A-C was around 14 per cent but now it’s more than 70 per cent, which is great.

“People’s attitudes have also changed towards the school during that time. And I get a different reaction now when people ask where I work.

“They used to turn round and say poor you when I said I was at Eastwood but it’s no longer like that and I’m very proud of all that has been achieved during my time here.”

As a result, Maclean admitted it will be hard for him to leave at the end of the current term.

But he feels he is now ready for a fresh challenge and is ready to return to his native Scotland.

“It was a very sad and hard decision to have to make,” said Maclean.

“Deep down I suppose I don’t want to leave if I’m honest, but we’re heading back to Ayrshire which is where I was brought up and it will be good to go back and start new projects.

“I have had a great career at Eastwood and have hopefully aided and supported many pupils to fulfil their potential.”

Maclean’s impending departure upset pupils and their parents and a petition was drawn up to try to keep him at the school.

And that pleased Maclean, who has also been behind the school’s improvement in facilities.

“During my time here we’ve had a top basketball court put in, Astroturf pitches and a Mondo athletics track too,” said Maclean.

“We’re the only school in Europe to have that and that again shows just how far Eastwood School has come in quite a short space of time.”