Club Brugge’s social media accounts have been abuzz with South African supporters since the arrival of Percy Tau, and their communications officer has opened up thereon.
SA fans are known to be passionate about their respective clubs, and often that rubs off onto individual stars, but Tau has gained massive support since his rise with Mamelodi Sundowns and even more so now that he’s made the step to Europe.
While he may not be where many expected when he first signed for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, the 25-year-old has made great strides over in Belgium, where he now plies his trade for Brugge on a season-long loan.
The Blue-Black have seen the Twitter and Facebook following increase exponentially with Tau lovers, who constantly bombard their pages with requests to see the star and no one else, even when former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet arrived.
The club’s head of communications Kirsten Willem has since explained the experience of having to deal with the constant influx of demands from the South Africans.
"We have previously had players at Brugge who brought a lot of supporters from their home country, just think of Kaveh Rezaei [from Iran]," Willem told local media.
"But the South African fans are indeed very active. We did not expect such massive attention. We do our best to monitor everything.
“Just as with the responses from our own country, we apply the rules that we cannot remove posts that are not safe. But we can still manage it all."
One challenge for Tau supporters, however, is that the club’s official pages are run mainly in Dutch or West Flemish, but Willem is aware of the sudden demand for more English updates.
"There is currently an English-language website where fans can go. At the moment there are no plans to create separate English-language social media accounts. But a post in English is shared every now and then," said Willem.
"Whether we have already planned special Percy Tau promotions? We plan promotions throughout the year with all our players, including Percy [laughs].”
Meanwhile, Willem is fully aware of the fact that the obsession over the Bafana Bafana star will only last a season before he returns to Brighton, but believes some fans could stick around long after his departure.
"No doubt some of those fans are going to leave, but some will certainly fall in love with Club and stick,” he concluded.