ADELAIDE coach Brenton Sanderson was reluctant to label his team's year a 'failure', but there was no hiding his disappointment despite the club's 79-point win over St Kilda on Sunday.
The Crows lost six games by two goals or less in 2014, finishing 10th, and Sanderson lamented missed opportunities.
Consistency proved the club's killer, as it mixed brilliant football at times with periods of mediocrity.
Sanderson wouldn't specifically label the year a failure – he insisted he was able to learn much about his playing group – but he said the club didn't achieve what it set out to.
"History will show that in 2014 the Crows weren't good enough … our objective was to make the eight, (and) we didn't make the eight," Sanderson said.
"There's some opportunities missed this year, without question, that we have to learn from.
"[We] finished outside of the eight by a game, finished a match out of the eight last year – we need to get better … we can't make the same mistakes next year.
"When you look back at the development of the top four sides, they’ve been through periods of learning, similar to this, and we've just got to make sure we keep looking forward and keep getting better."
Sanderson admitted there were times in 2014 when Adelaide's depth appeared worrying.
The Crows started the season missing several certain starters including Tom Lynch, Andy Otten, Nathan van Berlo, Ricky Henderson and Taylor Walker
The club will hold several meetings on Monday and have weekly list management meetings as it looks to boost its squad both at the NAB AFL Draft and during the free agency and trade periods.
"You have to call on your depth at different times during the season - at times this year it was really promising and at times we did look a bit shallow," he said.
"We start looking at our squad [tomorrow] for 2015 and we'll make some adjustments.
"We've got to get busy now identifying free agents, opportunities to trade - thankfully we're back in the first round of the draft this year.
"I still shake my head at some of the things I see on the field on game day, but then I realise these boys haven't been taught yet, or they're still learning."
Far from all doom and gloom though, Sanderson said there was one particular centre stoppage on Sunday that filled him with hope.
Sam Jacobs, 26, was in the ruck with Brodie Smith (22) Brad Crouch (20) and his younger brother Matt (19) at his feet.
"I just said to (head of football) David Noble 'here's the future'," he said.
"But then (Patrick) Dangerfield's 24, (Rory) Sloane's 24, David Mackay's 25, we're building a good team."