Former coach Brenton Sanderson flagged tackling as an issue for the Crows throughout his tenure at West Lakes. Under his reign the club hosted two members of New Zealand's All Blacks to help iron out any technical tackling problems, but nothing has worked so far. In 2014 the Crows were ranked 16th in the league for tackles, averaging 62.1 a game, down from the AFL average of 66 a game. The club also lingers near the bottom of the table when it comes to opposition scores from intercepts. Adelaide is ranked 14th, with opposition teams scoring from 23.6 per cent of its turnovers, compared to the league average 21.5 per cent. Skill errors in dangerous areas of the ground are the cause and the club has identified a need to improve in that area. – Harry Thring

The Lions' inability to win the contested ball has been an issue for years, and it was no more evident than last season. They sported one of the youngest lists in the league, but still, the numbers made for ugly reading. The Lions were dead last in contested ball differential, losing by an average of 15.4 a match to their opponent. It's an area coach Justin Leppitsch knows needed urgent addressing. They went part of the way to solving the problem in the off-season, recruiting hardened midfielders Dayne Beams and Mitch Robinson, who averaged 12.2 and nine contested possessions respectively in 2014. Throw in Jack Redden (10.7 a game) who missed the back half of the year with an ankle injury, and the Lions should climb the ladder in this department next season. – Michael Whiting

The Blues struggled in the back half and they'll certainly need to work on Mick Malthouse's defensive-oriented game plan. Not only did they end the season in 13th position, they also finished 13th on the 'points against' tally with 2107. Simply, Carlton failed to restrict scores when its opponents went inside 50. They ranked 16th in the competition in this area, with teams scoring 50 per cent of the time after entering the Blues' defensive arc (the league average this season was 47.6 per cent). The club is confident the signings of Kristian Jaksch from GWS – who can perform roles at both ends – and 20-year-old defender Matthew Dick as a delisted free agent will strengthen the back six, complementing the side's more experienced defenders. Carlton was also punished when losing possession to the opposition in general play and were often caught out of position, especially in defence. They ranked 17th with 25.9 per cent of opposition scores created from intercepts, compared to a league average of 21.5 per cent. As a result, Carlton defenders were kept under constant pressure after coughing up the ball. In the round 22 clash against Port Adelaide alone, the Power registered 16 of their 20 goals directly from Carlton turnovers.  – Giulio Di Giorgio

Collingwood identified it had a problem with its ability to hit targets consistently midway through last season, with coach Nathan Buckley often highlighting the statistic at post-game press conferences. The Magpies finished last in the competition for kicking efficiency (62.6 per cent), below the AFL average of 65.3 per cent. Kicking will be a clear focus over the pre-season, after Buckley witnessed, first-hand, Hawthorn dismantle the Sydney Swans due in large part to their exquisite foot skills. The Magpies also allowed teams to find possessions at will in 2014, ranking 17th in the competition for disposals conceded (380.4). The acquisition of Levi Greenwood should help to arrest some of those problems around the coalface, although Collingwood will need to find a ready-made replacement to account for the damaging loss of Dayne Beams Ben Guthrie

A lack of firepower was a concern last season, as evidenced by rising star Joe Daniher winning the club's goalkicking with only 28 majors. The Dons struggled to find avenues to goal and converted a score from less than 45 per cent of forward 50m entries – leaving them languishing in 15th spot for scoring efficiency. That their set shot accuracy was also the 15th worst in the AFL – at 57.8 per cent – didn't help the situation. But the Bombers have lured former champion Matthew Lloyd as a goalkicking coach and another season together should help Daniher's budding partnership with twin tower Jake Carlisle (27 goals) blossom next year. – Travis King

Essendon will look to Joe Daniher's natural improvement to boost their attack in 2015. Picture: AFL Media

The Dockers are ranked 16th in the AFL for converting rebound 50s into inside 50s, converting 18.6 per cent of the time compared to the AFL average of 22.2 per cent. Ball movement from defence into attack is an area they worked on last pre-season iin a bid to boost their scoring power and they will continue to work at it, although it is not an area of primary focus. Ross Lyon was hoping to build more football sessions into his pre-season and he was particularly keen on improving his midfield's stoppage work after a collective failure to capitalise on Aaron Sandilands' ruck dominance late in the season. He was also hoping to build in more goalkicking sessions as inaccuracy was costly in their semi-final against Port Adelaide when they dominated the second quarter. The Dockers are also 16th in tackling efficiency. However, Hawthorn rank 18th in the same category, so the raw tackling numbers won't worry the Dockers too much. It will be the intangible pressure and inferred pressure that is applied on the opposition when not in possession that will remain a key focus. – Alex Malcolm

Geelong has revamped its conditioning area in the off-season after struggling with injury and fade-outs during 2014. It's no secret the Cats were outscored in second halves often enough for it to be considered a trend last season. Geelong's reliance on too few players was probably the main reason it battled to sustain a scoring advantage throughout games. It won just eight third quarters, making it 17th in that statistic in the AFL. Its defensive strategies didn't stand up, with the opposition scoring 49.6 per cent of the time after going inside 50. Some work is needed in that area to allow its players to more quickly shift roles and guard dangerous players. – Peter Ryan

There's no hiding from it – Gold Coast is a poor kicking team. Despite all the elite talent they have, it's been a problem that has dogged the Suns since their inception, and the numbers back it up. Their kicking efficiency in 2014 was just 62.9 per cent, which ranked 17th in the competition. It's clearly a focus for new coach Rodney Eade, who had the footballs out on day one of the pre-season for an extended kick. The addition of Nick Malceski (who went at 72.6 per cent disposal efficiency) should help these numbers in 2015, as well as a full season from Jack Martin, who is arguably the club's best field kick. – Michael Whiting

More games from Jack Martin should help the Suns use the ball better in 2015. Picture: AFL Media 

The Giants are aware that one-quarter fade-outs hurt them in 2014, with the third quarter most often when the opposition rammed home an advantage. The Giants were outscored by 201 points overall in the premiership quarter to be the worst-performed team in that quarter for the season. According to the Giants' players, maturity and an increasing belief that they can win will turn that around. The Giants also struggled to defend turnovers, with the opposition scoring 24 per cent of the time after intercepting a GWS disposal. The Giants have recruited Joel Patfull to help their defence and Ryan Griffen will improve the midfield. – Peter Ryan

Hawthorn's supposed weaknesses in fact help illustrate two of the team's greatest strengths. The Hawks were the competition’s worst team for tackling efficiency last season, at just 59.7 per cent (AFL average 63.9). But Alastair Clarkson's men employ an effective zone defence, where sticking tackles is just one part of applying pressure on the opposition. The Hawks also plumbed the lower ranks of the competition for hit-outs to advantage (ranked 16th with 24.3 per cent). However, they were still good enough to average the most clearances of any side last season. It's tough to find many chinks in the Hawks' armour. – Travis King

The Demons were ranked last in the competition for inside 50 differential in 2014, pointing to a misfiring midfield and lack of forward targets. Injuries and circumstances hurt the club's tall forward stocks last year, while despite the additions of Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince, the midfield lacked talent and experience. Both aforementioned deficiencies impacted on the other. But there is hope. A fit and firing Jesse Hogan should give the Demons a definitive target to kick to, however, the club cannot rely on the 19-year-old alone. Adding Ben Newton and likely Angus Brayshaw, or even Christian Petracca, in this year's NAB AFL Draft will further continue the evolution of Paul Roos' on-ball rotation. The Dees were also second last in the competition for transferring the ball from their own defensive 50 to their forward 50. Melbourne's offensive spread was severely lacking this year, so Roos will need to continue to educate his players about the required running patterns needed to compete at AFL level.  Ben Guthrie

A fit Jesse Hogan will be a major boost to Melbourne's structure. Picture: AFL Media

North was ranked 13th in the competition for time spent in its forward half in 2014 (-2:45 minutes), but this primarily reflected a change in the Roos' game plan. Having been easy to score against at times in 2013, the Roos tightened their defence significantly last season, conceding 78.7 points a game, fifth-best in the AFL and down from 87.7 points a game in 2013. The Roos' defensive focus meant they were prepared to spend more time in their defensive half, patiently launching attacks from half-back and readily pushing back in numbers when the opposition had possession. North's new game plan did come at a price, with the Roos' average home and away score dropping from 104.9 points a game in 2013 (third in the AFL) to 92.1 points (eighth), while they managed just nine goals in their preliminary final loss to the Sydney Swans. Coach Brad Scott said at times this year the Roos had become too defensively minded and he will likely focus on striking a better balance between defence and attack this pre-season. – Nick Bowen

Port is one of the youngest sides in the AFL and is being urged by coach Ken Hinkley to play a fast, exciting brand of football. Although that style saw the club finish just a kick from a Grand Final berth, it means mistakes will be made. Port was 16th in the league in 2014 for disposal efficiency (72.6 per cent), down from the league average of 75.6 per cent. Natural development from players and increased experience will help boost that percentage but given the club's success in the season just gone, it's hardly a huge worry. The same can be said about its 'first possession to clearance' percentage; the Power were last in the competition with 72.6 per cent (league average 75.6 per cent) but were second in the league for clearances (40.2 a game). – Harry Thring

The obvious one is how they get past being bundled out of the finals at the first hurdle in consecutive years. Damien Hardwick has already indicated the coaches will consult other sporting organisations – nationally and abroad – to discover ways they can help the players move on from how the past two seasons have ended. On the field, a long and hot summer on the training track has been predicted and they'll enter the NAB Challenge with a different philosophy to this year, where most of their blue-chip players were involved in most games. The Tigers' clearance-to-score percentage was ranked 15th in the competition this year, although it has to be noted their No.1 ruckman Ivan Maric only played 14 games. And, they'll want to work their defensive side after a poor showing in that area in the final against Port Adelaide. – Jennifer Phelan

The return of Ivan Maric (right) sparked a major swing in Richmond's form in 2014. Picture: AFL Media

Like most clubs, the Saints have started pre-season with time trials where 11 of their youngsters recorded personal best times. After an intense high-performance camp in New Zealand's Queenstown in early December, they'll no doubt look at how to improve their leaky defence. The Saints, who finished on the bottom of the ladder and are in a period of transition, were the worst-ranked side when it came to opponents scoring when they went inside 50. Once sides entered their attacking arc, they scored 52.2 per cent of the time, which highlighted a need for greater defensive pressure. The return of a few defenders from injury will help in 2015, while the likes of Jarryn Geary and Jimmy Webster will give them run off half-back and ease their struggles in uncontested ball differential - another area they finished last in.  – Jennifer Phelan

Despite boasting tall forwards Lance Franklin, Kurt Tippett, Sam Reid and Adam Goodes, the Swans finished 11th in the AFL last season for scores per inside 50 entry (47.6 per cent). Even allowing for the fact Tippett missed 11 games with injury in 2014, this is a surprising statistic. However, it reflects the Swans' over-reliance at times on Franklin and, to a lesser extent, Tippett. Franklin was the only Swan to kick more than 50 goals this year, while their Grand Final conqueror Hawthorn boasted three such players (Jarryd Roughead, Jack Gunston and Luke Breust). Further, seven Hawks kicked 20 or more goals in 2014 compared to five Swans. Presumably, Swans coach John Longmire will look to spread his team's goalkicking load more evenly next season, with players such as Lewis Jetta (14 goals in 2014 compared to a career-high 45 in 2012) and Sam Reid (17 goals) capable of stepping up. – Nick Bowen

The Eagles were ranked 0-9 against top-eight sides last year and if they want to play finals they will have to beat the best sides. However, that's not to say they didn't have chances to win. Their goalkicking in a number of games against top-eight teams let them down, despite West Coast generally being an accurate side across the course of the season, ranking second behind Hawthorn. The Eagles also rank 15th for uncontested possession differential at -18.3. This may not seem a major statistic but it does support Adam Simpson's desire for the Eagles to improve their ball movement. The stat shows the team is not getting easy possessions compared to their opponents, failing to move the ball swiftly and cleanly into space to create scores and instead relying heavily on winning contested possessions. They are a top-eight team in this category largely due to the work of Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis. However, it means their disposals are often pressured and as a result, the delivery to their talented forwards can be untidy. Simpson will continue to work on ball movement throughout this summer in the hope that it will click in his second year in charge.  – Alex Malcolm

In 2014, stopping goals was just as big a problem for the Bulldogs as their well-documented inability to score them. The Dogs were the second worst club at allowing their opponents to find the big sticks once they entered their forward 50, at 28.9 per cent of the time compared to an AFL average 25 per cent. This is mainly due to the Dogs allowing their opponents easy shots on goal. Another stat the Bulldogs should look to address is their ability to score from clearances. Even though they have one of the competition's elite clearance players in Tom Liberatore, they ranked 14th with a differential of -126 points. – Ryan Davidson