- The Eagles' home ground advantage returned in 2015. They won 11 of 13 games at home this season, including two finals, losing only to Hawthorn and Fremantle. The previous year the Eagles won just half of their home games.
-The West Coast midfield was maligned coming into the season, aside from their Brownlow medallist. But they made significant improvements to become one of the best contested possession teams in the competition. Nic Naitanui was dominant in the ruck and fed the likes of Luke Shuey, Matt Priddis and Andrew Gaff at will.
-The Eagles' scoring power was frightening at times this year. They were the second highest scoring team behind Hawthorn. They had four players kicked 34 goals or more. Josh Kennedy won the Coleman Medal with 80 goals, Mark LeCras kicked 45, Josh Hill 40, and Jamie Cripps 34.
- Grand Final day was a performance the Eagles will want to forget. They just did not handle the pressure that the Hawks brought to the game and were not able to take their opportunities. Adam Simpson's young side will learn from the experience.
- The Eagles' kicking efficiency was a feature through the year but it dropped right off in the finals series. They kicked at 65 per cent during the season but fell to 56 in both the preliminary and Grand Finals. They also kicked 18 goals, 33 behinds across their last two finals. The Hawks kicked 31.15 in their final two games.
-The bodies of their key defenders let them down at times during the year. They played the entire season without Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown due to season-ending knee injuries. Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield battled issues all year. It actually helped sharpen the Eagles' defensive system but they would like to have a fully fit back six.
Overall rating: 9/10
It was a phenomenal season for West Coast. The Eagles jumped from ninth in 2014 to finish second in the home and away season and win their way to a Grand Final. They finished in the top-four in both attack and defence. The midfield was a dominant force after starting the year with numerous question marks surrounding it.
The fans' rating
What we said in the pre-season
We expected the Eagles to finish anywhere between sixth and 10th. They had a fantastic draw and were expected to beat the sides ranked below them but struggle against top-eight sides. Those predictions were reset when Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown went down but the Eagles defied them.
Adam Simpson was unlucky not to win the AFL Coaches' Association coach of the year award. He has been able to get the Eagles playing a game style that stood up in finals and can remain intact despite personnel problems. The players love playing for him and he is always very calm and level-headed, no matter the situation.
MVP: Josh Kennedy
Nic Naitanui, Matt Priddis and Andrew Gaff all had outstanding seasons but Kennedy was the most valuable player. He had an outstanding season winning the Coleman Medal and being named All Australian for the first time. He fought through an elbow injury mid-year. He was dominant in the qualifying final, and when the Hawks set themselves to shutting him down in the Grand Final, it went a long way to winning the game.
Surprise packet: Elliot Yeo
The Brisbane Lions still rue losing Yeo a couple of years ago. This season he showed why they rated him so highly. He moved into the midfield at times and had some dominant performances. But he also finished second for contested marks at the club behind Kennedy. He is so versatile that he also played as a key defender at times. He is only 22 and is set to become a key figure for the Eagles in the future.
Get excited: Liam Duggan
The Eagles' first round draft pick from last year only played 12 games but he was impressive. The 18-year-old midfielder showed class and composure when he played and did not look out of place. He injured his knee late in the year but Eagles fans should be excited about watching him run through the midfield for years to come.
Disappointment: Scott Lycett
He had suitors chasing him late last year before signing a four-year deal to remain at West Coast following Dean Cox's retirement. He was praised for a great pre-season but after performing poorly in the first four rounds he lost his place as the Eagles' second ruckman. He played just twice more late in the year when Naitanui was absent.
Best win: 32-point win over Hawthorn, qualifying final, Domain Stadium. The Hawks had not been beaten in a final since 2012 and the Eagles clubbed them to turn the finals series on its head. They dominated the second term, kicking 5.4 to 0.1 to set up a home preliminary final against North Melbourne.
The Grand Final was bitterly disappointing. In the context of where the Eagles had come from, a Grand Final appearance should hardly be a low point. But the way they played, given the chances they had, will frustrate the group and they will want to rectify it next year.
The big questions
- Will Scott Selwood depart for Geelong?
Reading the tea leaves, it seems the youngest of the Selwood brothers will join Joel at the Cats. West Coast aren't confident of re-signing the restricted free agent, who was club champion three years ago but was left out of the Grand Final side.
- How do the Eagles restructure the defence?
The system worked beautifully for most of the year but Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown will return and the roles will change as a result. Will Jeremy McGovern play forward, and could Jack Darling be used through midfield? The 'Weagles Web' broke down on the wider expanses of the MCG in the Grand Final and might be tinkered with over summer.
- How do they overcome such a poor Grand Final performance?
Some teams are driven to get redemption, where others can be haunted by a shocker on the big stage. This Eagles group is young enough to get back there again, but there are no guarantees – just ask the Swans this year.
Season in a song No Second Prize, by Jimmy Barnes
Retirements: Beau Waters retired in the pre-season, although he had not played a game since 2013.
Delistings: Dylan Main, Malcolm Karpany, Will Maginness
There might be a few delistings given the Eagles have had only one retirement and only Scott Selwood is likely to leave by choice. Main, Karpany and Maginness are only youngsters but none have really come close to playing senior footy over the past two years after being drafted in 2013. Maginness has had a horror run with injury. But the Eagles have not confirmed anything as yet and their list management moves may depend on which players they recruit.
Trades/free agents: Scott Selwood
Selwood's contract has been a source of consternation all season. The Eagles have been keen to negotiate, but he has opted to become a restricted free agent and has been heavily linked to Geelong. It would be strange for a vice-captain to leave but he has found himself on the fringe of the side due to ongoing ankle problems, and he missed out on the Grand Final.
What they need
The Eagles are flush with depth in a number of areas and showed they can cope with injuries to key players. But they would love to add some more polish and experience in the midfield and they may get that with Lewis Jetta and Jack Redden on the radar. The Eagles are in a strong position where they don't need to be too aggressive given their squad depth but have players keen to play for them.
The Eagles are only going to get better. They will have much the same squad next year with Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown returning from long-term injuries. They have only one player over the age of 30 and only five players that have played more 150 games so they will stay firmly in the mix for the flag.
Early call: 1st-2nd
The Eagles will have a tougher draw next year but given what they produced this season they would seem set to replicate that next year with the addition of Mackenzie.