Northern Ireland midfielder Caragh Hamilton has welcomed the appointment of Tanya Oxtoby as the new international manager as “refreshing”.
Lewes’s new signing Hamilton is enthused by the prospect of working with the Australian.
“Total excitement is the feeling from myself,” Hamilton told BBC Sport NI.
“It was out of the blue but a really welcome announcement given the Republic of Ireland game is only a short five weeks away.
“I don’t know Tanya personally, but from everything that I have read and interviews I have watched with her so far, she seems to be a really exciting appointment”.
Oxtoby has also managed Bristol City and had a spell as assistant manager of Scotland women’s national team, and becomes the first manager of the women’s team not from Northern Ireland.
More recently, the 41-year-old has been Emma Hayes’ assistant at Chelsea, helping them to win the WSL and the FA Cup twice in her two seasons with the club.
Hamilton, who made the move to Championship side Lewes from Glentoran this summer, is delighted that Northern Ireland have been able to acquire the services of someone of her calibre.
“You are not at a club like Chelsea, one of the best women’s clubs in the world without a decent skillset, so I am really excited for what she is going to bring and the experience she has within the women’s game at the highest level.
“She has worked with some of the best coaches and players in the world.”
Oxtoby’s first game in charge will be against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on September in the Nations League.
And Hamilton, who has 35 caps for her country, believes that a “fresh start” is exactly what Northern Ireland need.
“That is something we haven’t experienced before, someone not from Northern Ireland, so I think that should be refreshing, a different culture and a different style.”
She added: “She is someone who is coming in with a total blank canvas, she doesn’t know any of us and hasn’t coached any of us. She is coming into the unknown, without any preconceptions.
“I think everyone will feel like it is a fresh start and they will be looking to impress. We are all very open to something new, it is welcomed and we all know that is what we need to move forward”.