MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Bailey Simonsson of the Raiders is tackled during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on September 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Former Canberra Raiders winger Bailey Simonsson signed a new three-year deal with the Parramatta Eels last week, and has now opened up on the prospect of his move north.

The Simonsson move to Parramatta had been rumoured for weeks as part of a three-club swap.

His departure from the Raiders relied on the Raiders and Canterbury Bulldogs arriving at a financial arrangement to allow Nick Cotric to move back to the nations capital.

The former State of Origin representative had a horrid year at Belmore, struggling with injury and playing less than half of the regular season games during his one and only year in the blue and white.

On big money and with the club desperately looking to slash their salary cap after more than ten signings for 2022, including some big names, as well as the reported arrivals of Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney in 2023, Cotric was seen as the ideal candidate to depart the kennel.

With the clubs arriving at a deal for Cotric to move south, it meant Simonsson was free to be released by the Raiders and take up a position at Parramatta.

Despite the departures of Blake Ferguson and Michael Oldfield though, leaving the Eels incredibly short in their outside back depth, Simonsson told The Daily Telegraph that there was no guarantee of a spot at the club.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Blake Ferguson of the Eels looks on prior to the round 12 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on May 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“Having a few chats with Brad I thought it would be a good fit and I was keen on it," Simonsson told the publication.

"There was no guarantee of a spot but he spoke about the different things he saw in my game and what I can improve to become the best player I can be.

“Parramatta play an attacking brand of footy and move the ball well. It was a system I thought I could flourish in.”

It's thought Simonsson will battle Haze Dunster to join Maika Sivo on the wings, although young gun Will Penisini could also shift out wide from the centres where he broke out at the end of the 2021 season.

Regardless of the likelihood of a position - something he would have been forced to battle for in Canberra as well thanks to the breakout of Xavier Savage and move of Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad from fullback to the centres as a result - Simonsson said he was happy with the move to Sydney, where his partner and family are based.

“The move has been on the cards for a little while,” Simonsson said.

“A few weeks now it’s been spoken about between the clubs but it got more serious recently.

“I’d started pre-season with the Raiders and trained for about three weeks. It wasn’t distracting. In the back of my head I knew that there was potential to move.

“Once the ball got rolling and I was happy with the move and the clubs were happy, it happened quickly.

“I was glad I could get here before Christmas.: