Ger Brennan says the foundations for Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland final win over Kerry were laid with their 17-point quarter-final defeat by the Kingdom two years previously.

In 2009 the Dubs were like startled earwigs according to their manager Pat Gilroy as they slumped to a joint-record defeat to the Green and Gold.

Yet just over two full seasons later they lifted the Sam Maguire thanks to an improbable win over Kerry in the decider.

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"That was the best thing that could have happened to Dublin," said Brennan, who was one of those startled earwigs that went on to climb the mountain in 2011.

"In the life cycle of any successful team there are one or two defining moments and they tend to happen after big defeats.

"The teams or individual athletes who progress and go on to win are the ones who are able to sit down after the game, look at themselves first and foremost before they look at external factors.

"What was happening in that Dublin dressing-room up to that was a lot of lads were looking to lay the blame on an individual, or this or that or feeling sorry for themselves," said Brennan, speaking on the latest episode of the RTÉ GAA Podcast.

"After that 2009 quarter-final all of that was wiped out and if anyone was feeling sorry for themselves as we prepared for 2010, if they weren’t going to be honest and open with their team mates, then they didn’t have a place in the squad and there were a couple of lads that didn’t last."

Ger Brennan holds off Darran O'Sullivan of Kerry in the 2011 All-Ireland final

Also speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast Kerry's Colm Cooper recalls thinking that they had the 2011 final locked down as they led by four points with seven minutes left.

At that stage Dublin hadn’t won Sam Maguire in 16 years and the Kingdom were the market leaders, taking top honours five times in the previous decade.

The Dubs mugged them with their comeback started by a Kevin McManamon goal and finished by a late, late free-kick from goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton.

"I never thought we had it won, but I thought we were in a brilliant position," said Cooper.

"I threw one over and I remember looking up at the clock with seven minutes to go thinking 'four up, we’re in a really good position here, let’s close it out’. And we were really, really good at doing that at the time, closing it out.

"We had guys who could take the sting out of the game, draw a free and those are big moments in tight matches. I was very comfortable in that position coming down the stretch and then all of a sudden the hunger and the fight from Dublin.

"When the goal went in I never felt Croke Park shake as much – the momentum just shifted. All of the Kerry players, all of us, did things that we would normally never do. What that happened? I don’t know. Possibly put it down to the pressure put on us by the Dubs; the intensity went up a notch and we weren’t able to deal with that. In the blink of an eye it was over."

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