That Bennison began her career at Rosengard with a success is fitting, as plenty has come since.
At the age of 14, she received her first call-up to Sweden’s youth teams. Within a year, she was part of Rosengard’s first team.
“The first time I met Hanna was during post-season physical test day with the senior team in November 2017,” head coach Jonas Eidevall remembers. Bennison had only just celebrated her 15th birthday, but she was about to make a big impression on the new coach.
“She was invited to participate together with a couple of other young players from our academy. In the endurance test, Hanna ran until she collapsed on the ground.
“I remember I was very impressed by her effort and will. When I later saw her ball [control], I knew she was, and still is, a very special player.”
It wasn’t just the coach that Bennison was impressing. Asked what she remembers of her first training session with the teenager, Caroline Seger, captain of Rosengard and Sweden, says: “That she had [an] enormous amount of talent and willingness to learn and be better.”
Unsurprisingly, then, Eidevall didn’t hesitate in bringing Bennison into his first team plans, despite her age.
Her first inclusion in a matchday squad came in February 2018. Two months later, she came off the bench against Kalmar in the league for her senior debut. “I was a little surprised,” Bennison remembers.
If that experience caught her off guard, what came the following year was a big shock. After making just four league appearances from the bench in 2018, the midfielder quickly became one of the first names on the teamsheet in 2019. In the Damallsvenskan, Bennison started 16 of the club’s 18 league games – and helped them win their first league title in four years.
“[Eidevall] has done a lot for me, because he gave me an opportunity to play,” she says. “He believed in me and that was really nice to feel.
“[That support] is really important because you really need to learn and to grow and to be allowed to make mistakes. I think that they have done with me. That’s why I think I’m as good as I am now.”
Bennison didn’t just play – she excelled. At the end of the year, she was named the league’s breakthrough talent, with three goals and two assists to her name. One of those goals remains her favourite. In one of the toughest games of the season, against title rivals Goteborg, the teenager scored superbly from the edge of the box.
But what she likes about it the most is what highlights the kind of player she is: “The whole action before the goal. The play until we scored was good.”
That love for the attractive, attacking style of football has always typified Bennison. As a young girl, her favourite teams were Real Madrid and Rosengard. Her idols were Ramona Bachmann, the creative midfielder who starred in Rosengard’s title-winning sides, and Marta, widely considered the greatest player in the history of the women’s game.
Jeppsson even recalls Bennison telling him as a young girl that she wanted to play for Barcelona, with whom an attractive style of football is always associated.
The flair she enjoyed from those players and teams was certainly evident in her Sweden debut at the end of 2019, as she showed glimpses of her brilliance to the American crowd, while rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best.
Carli Lloyd is one player she was often running alongside, another name that Bennison mentions several times during her interview with Goal, picked out as the opponent she is proudest to have played against.