Hall of Fame – Lisa Beck

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee – Lisa Beck (nee Allen)

Premierships – 1993,1994,2005,2006
B & F – 1996,1997,2000,2004
R/Up B & F – 1993,1994
A Grade Coach – 1997,1999,2007
B Grade Coach – 1996,2000
A Grade – 186 B Grade – 62
Ovens and King Best & Fairest – 1989,1991

When Netball started in the Ovens and Murray in 1993, it provided a new dimension to the Wangaratta Rovers Football Club. Some very talented and committed young sportswomen chose to leave their existing clubs to come and play for the Hawks in the Brown and Gold.

One of these was Lisa Allen, now Lisa Beck.  She had been a star with Tarrawingee Netball Club in the Ovens and King Football League, where she had won two League Best and Fairest awards – in 1989 and 1991. Along with others, such as Kathryn Bourke (Lee), the three Cornelius sisters, Kim, Lisa and Tanya, Michelle Grenfell (Wilson), Janelle Hartwig and Marnie Williamson (McKenzie), to name just a few, she attended the inaugural Rovers Netball in November 1992. Like all of these girls, Lisa had a strong connection with the Club. She came to join her brother Matthew, who went on to play over 300 games with the Rovers, and her father Rex, who was an ex-thirds coach and senior team manager for a number of years. It became a family affair because her sisters Ruth and Kim, and her brother Jon also joined the Club. At this meeting she agreed to attend the first Ovens and Murray Netball Association delegates meeting for the Wangaratta Rovers. At a follow-up general meeting she was appointed as the club’s inaugural Netball President. She held that position for the first two years. This was the beginning of a long and dedicated association with the Club. Lisa’s leadership of the Club in the early days has played a big part in its standing in the Association. It has been one of the most successful Clubs on the court and it has led the way off the court in getting support sand recognition for netballers from their brother football clubs. Lisa has also been an outstanding contributor, as a player, and as a coach.  She is remembered as one of the most accurate and wily goal-shooters in the O & M. She regularly shot at an 85% accuracy rate – a statistic that was most important in the early days. Lisa had great agility, a wonderful ability to read the play, and was remarkably elusive, even against the best defenders. She often gave away inches in height and her timing was such that she was rarely out-reached when rebounding goal attempts. Her safe hands and skilful passing were a trademark of her play. Her performances played a big part in the Rovers becoming the first O & M premiers (and so far, the only champions) in 1993, and again in their next premiership year of 1994. One of her regular opponents, North Albury defender, OMNFL Life Member and current Netball President Paula Cary, regards Lisa as one of the best shooters she has ever contended with.  “Her rapid-fire left-handed shots were up and through the ring before I had time to set up for an intercept. She was an elusive and deceptive mover, and it took me a long time to realise she was a leftie.” Paula has a high regard for Lisa’s contribution on the court and her leadership of the Rovers. She considers her to be one of the fairest opponents she has played against. Lisa was 27 when she joined the Rovers. She not only played in the first two O & M premierships, but was a member of the club’s premierships in 2005 and 2006.  In that time she had a forced absence from the game to give birth to her sons Henry and Gus. Had the opportunity existed for her to start O & M Netball as a teen-ager, as most do today, she may well have been able to equal her brother Matthew’s games tally. It could be said that, as a coach. Lisa was most unlucky not to get at least one premiership.

In each of her three years as A-Grade playing-coach, the Hawks made the Preliminary Final. She was a natural on-court leader who commanded great respect from her team. She was able to create training regimes that were beneficial for all players, regardless of their talent and skills. At the same time, she fostered an atmosphere that made all players and officials happy to be involved. Lisa’s last involvement with the Club as a player, was in the 2010 B-Grade side. Unlike many, it was not beneath her dignity to continue on and play at the lower grade. Her continued presence around the Club in the last few years, has been just as important as it was in the beginning. She has been a behind-the-scenes mentor for many of the juniors, particularly for up-and-coming young shooters. She has provided solid support and wise tactical assistance to the recent coaches. After the A-Grade side sadly dropped out of this year’s competition, in the Elimination-Final, coach Jess Clarke, in her post-match speech, acknowledged the value of the support that Lisa had given her and her young team.