Dronacharya award-winning coach Baldev Singh is a proud man after his girls created history at by winning a bronze medal at the Junior Women's Hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany. (Read: Triumphant return for junior women's hockey team from Germany)
One of his favourite student, Rani Rampal, emerged as the player of the tournament and the coach says the 19-year-old is a rare talent and would serve the country long. (Related read: Rani Rampal, a cart-puller's daughter who turned dreams into a reality)
"She (Rani) has the killer instinct. She was different from other girls and picked up the game really fast. She is definitely a rare talent," said Singh.
The Indian girls outplayed England 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the bronze medal play-off match on Sunday to finish on the podium -- their best-ever showing in the marquee event.
Out of the six hockey players - Navjot, Manjeet Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Rani Rampal, Monika and Poonam Rani - in the team who hail from Haryana, five hail from Shahbad while one belongs to Hisar.
Braving odds in life, the girls from Haryana's small town of Shahbad were instrumental in bringing glory to their native place besides the country.
"It's a proud moment for us. The win will definitely boost the morale of the girls and encourage them to do even better," said Singh, coach of the Shahbad Hockey Academy, over 60km from Chandigarh.
While most of the girls come from humble backgrounds, Rani in particular came from an ordinary family and even the hockey stick and her kit was once given to her by Singh as she could not afford it.
Rani lives in a small house in Shahbad town, near Kurukshetra.
While Rani's father is a cart-puller, her elder brother is a carpenter. She used to travel 2km distance from her house to the Academy on foot and later on purchased a bicycle and today her success story has made everyone proud.