Tanya Oxtoby has been appointed manager of Northern Ireland women, charged with the brief to get them to their first Women's World Cup.

The 41-year-old West Australian, who has most recently been working as an assistant coach at English women's double-winners Chelsea, has signed a four-year deal.

Oxtoby, who was born and grew up in West Wickham, 200 km west of Port Hedland, before being schooled in Fremantle, became the first player of Indigenous descent to captain a W-League (now A-League Women) side when she skippered Perth Glory.

"I am delighted and honoured to join the Northern Ireland senior women's team," Oxtoby said.

"I'm really excited to be part of the next stage of international women's football in this football-loving country.

"I will be giving everything to help develop the Northern Ireland team and ensure women's and girls' football continues to grow and succeed on an international stage. I can't wait to get started."

The Irish FA's Director of Women's Football, Angela Platt, said Oxtoby will bring "knowledge, experience and pedigree" to the role.

"Tanya was the outstanding candidate from a very strong field," added Platt. "We are confident she can take our international programme to the next level, giving us the best possible opportunity of achieving our ambition to regularly qualify for major tournaments."

Northern Ireland reached a first major tournament for the first time when they played at Euro 2022, but failed to qualify for the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Besides Glory, Oxtoby played for Northern NSW Pride and Western Waves in the WNSL (a precursor to the W-League), and in England for Doncaster Rovers Belles and Everton.

After coaching roles at Glory and Australia U20s she returned to Britain, managing WSL club Bristol City.

Oxtoby's first game in charge of Northern Ireland will be away to Ireland in the UEFA Nations League next month.