CHILDHOOD Charlton fan Jake Reeves was denied the chance of joining the club by Phil Parkinson.

The former Bantams boss was at the Valley helm when a teenage hopeful turned up for a trial.

But Reeves’ dreams of playing for the side he had grown up following were ended because of a lack of inches.

“I had a couple of trials there when I was 15,” said Reeves, ahead of Saturday’s Valley Parade clash with the Addicks.

“Our old manager Phil Parkinson was in charge and I was deemed not big enough at the time to play midfield.

“To be fair, I was pretty small at the time so I was never really close to signing.”

Millwall also knocked him back around the same time. So instead the Lewisham local moved across London on the books of Tottenham before moving to Brentford’s youth system at the age of 16.

He made the breakthrough at senior level with the Bees and then went on to play two seasons at Wimbledon.

So the 24-year-old has played his way around the capital – just not at the club he used to watch every week.

Reeves added: “I was a big Charlton fan growing up – but obviously not so much these days.

“But when I was a kid, they were my local club.

“It was handed down the family. My grandad supported them, my uncle supported them, my dad supported them and cousins so it wasn’t really a choice.

“It’s quite similar round there to Manchester because you’re either blue or red.

“So for me, it was either supporting Millwall or Charlton – and Charlton was the only option.”

An all-action presence in the middle of the park for the Bantams, it is hardly a surprise that his playing hero in those early days was Scott Parker.

Reeves used to love watching him cover every blade of grass during Charlton’s Premier League heyday under Alan Curbishley.

He added: “Scott Parker was always my favourite player and I was absolutely raging when he left to join Chelsea.

“I wasn’t happy at all, ripped up his poster on the wall and all sorts!

“But they’ve had some really good players over the years. Obviously (Paolo) Di Cano was another one who was fantastic to watch.

“When he turned up at the club, he was a massive character during that time.

“But Alan Curbishley did a cracking job for Charlton. Getting rid of him was possibly the worst decision they’ve ever made.

“You look at what’s happened there ever since and it’s just gone downhill.”

Reeves got the opportunity to face Charlton for the first time last season and helped Wimbledon take four points off them.

Dominic Poleon scored the equaliser in a come-from-behind 2-1 away win last September – making it a particularly memorable occasion for Reeves as he finally got to tread the Valley turf.

He said: “That was nice to tick off, especially as we came back to win it!

“All my family came and watched because it was a nice home game for them. It was the most local one to where I was from, so that was enjoyable.”

Reeves will have a different partner in the City engine room for Saturday's encounter.

Romain Vincelot is banned after picking up his fifth booking in the draw with Oldham so Timothee Dieng is expected to step in.

Dieng, who replaced the skipper late on in Tuesday’s game, scored City’s goal when they last faced Charlton in a 1-1 draw in March.