Wales manager Gemma Grainger has left her role with immediate effect to become head coach of Norway.

The 41-year-old spent nearly three years in charge of Wales and guided them to the brink of qualification for the 2023 Women’s World Cup when they lost out to a last-minute goal in the play-off final against Switzerland.

Grainger told the Football Association of Wales’ official website: “Over the last three years I have given my heart and soul to our journey, and I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this team and proud nation.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to work with this group of players and staff, and to represent a nation that has supported the team with incredible pride and passion.

“I had no intention to leave Cymru, but I have been offered an unexpected opportunity that I could not turn down and it has been extremely difficult for me to get to this point. I hope you know the decision to leave has not been taken lightly.

“I truly believe this team is ready to take the next steps and qualify. I’m confident the team can continue to build and grow from this point forward.

“Cymru will forever have a place in my heart, diolch am bopeth (thank you for everything).”

Former Leeds and Middlesbrough manager Grainger was coach of various England age groups before being appointed Wales boss in March 2021.

Her final match in charge was a 0-0 draw in the Nations League against Germany in Swansea in December.

FAW chief executive Noel Mooney added: “I would like to place on record our sincere gratitude for what Gemma has achieved during her time as Cymru national team manager.

“We are really happy that we have progressed well under Gemma and now we enter a period of recruitment for a new manager that will give us the best opportunity to qualify for UEFA Euro 2025 and the 2027 FIFA World Cup.”