“Following the appointment of Slaven Bilic at our local club I decided to set up a Croatian supporter’s club and its hit 1,400 followers in 3 days!!” commented Daniel Butigan to The Dubrovnik Times.
Former West Ham and Croatian National Team manager Slaven Bilic was named as the new boss of English Championship side West Bromwich Albion last week, reportedly signing a two-year contract and he succeeds from Darren Moore who lost his job in March.
Daniel and his family are Croatians living in Birmingham and as he says “come and go between Birmingham and Dubrovnik several times a year.” Following the appointment of the Croatian born coach Slavan Bilic as the manager of their local club they decided to start a Croatian supporter’s club and interest has gone through the roof.
Talking to the publication Express and Star Daniel Butigan and his close friend David Djalilian (both 26) have followed Bilic’s career ever since he was a player and travelled to both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 when he was Croatia manager. At the start of this week they set up a Croatian supporters group and have already attracted more than 1,400 followers on Twitter. The response amazed them so much Dan offered a five-night stay in Dubrovnik at an apartment to one lucky fan who helped spread the word.
“I’m not doing it for any self-benefit, it’s to show off the country and celebrate the fact that Bilic has come. We want to create a bond between the fans and Croatia,” commented Daniel to the Express and Star.
Bilic is clearly big news in West Brom with Daniel adding that “The people of West Brom love Dubrovnik and Croatia!”
And these two Dubrovnik fans aren’t the only Croatians that love this Championship side, the former Wimbledon Champion, Goran Ivanisevic, is also a West Brom fan.
You can check out Croatian West Bromwich supporters club at their Twitter account here