His next club Histon went broke which left the young Sheppard pondering his football career as a 20-year-old. 

“I had an Australian passport, I watched the A-League. So I told my parents I’m going to Australia. 

"They thought I’d be there for a few months. I wanted to have an adventure and see what happens.” 

That was six years ago. 

He made a name in the NPL with Melbourne club Heidelberg and at Avondale, forming a lethal front two with big striker Liam Boland. 

The goal-scoring duo was unstoppable with 40 goals between them in just one season. 

Shepherd got on the radar after he scored for Avondale in the FFA Cup. But the goal was always the A-League. 

WATCH: Sheppard scores in Australia's FFA Cup

Sheppard, now 26, did realise his A-League dream after showing enough at NPL level (Australia’s state-based second-tier of semi-pro football) and during a brief spell in Finnish football at SJK.

He trialed with the Jets (“I messaged Lawrie the CEO on Facebook after scoring in the FFA Cup”) and he got signed from that on a two-year deal. 

Sheppard was soon debuting and scoring in the A-League and tasting what it’s like to play Asian opposition in Asian Champions League qualifiers. 

The onetime Orient striker subsequently played alongside former Celtic and Wales international Joe Ledley, and the "Irish Messi", Wes Hoolahan at Newcastle. 

“Kaine is a natural goal-scorer, he’s really impressed me since he’s arrived and this new contract will give him the confidence to continue improving and developing as an A-League player,” then Jets coach Ernie Merrick said.

Sheppard (yellow shirt) made his name in the NPL with Heidelberg (seen here against Melbourne City in the FFA Cup)

Sheppard played 28 games, scoring three goals in the A-League.

However, a foot injury dented his progress and he now finds himself without an A-League club. 

The new A-League season is due to kick off this December. 

“The A-League is a good standard. It gets a lot of publicity in England as it’s shown there and my parents have watched my games. 

“I think a lot of people are surprised by the standard. 

“And when it moves to winter the games will be faster," says Sheppard. 

“I get a lot of friends and family messages from England when they’ve been watching me on the TV coverage over there. 

“Some top teams in the A-League could get away with being in the Championship with the rest perhaps doing well in League 1. 

“Playing in 40-degree heat isn’t ideal for the quality of football but with winter football we’ve seen it during this hub how the A-League games have been more fast-paced. And that comes off the back of a long break.

“To be aligned with Asia could be beneficial.” 

Sheppard is hoping he can show the A-League what he can do after departing Jets earlier this year during the COVID break after an injury-cruelled season. 

“Obviously there’s a lot going on with COVID and the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the A-League but my plan is to get back into the A-League. 

“I was training with an NPL team before the lockdown, but I’m lucky enough to have a gym in my house with a running machine and a bike and I train for an hour at the park across the road.

"I believe I can score goals in the A-League and help teams and do well."

He added:  “I still look up to Harry Kane. He inspired me."