Sheppard set for Jets departure


Off-contract Newcastle striker Kaine Sheppard will leave the Jets at the end of this A-League season after not being offered a new deal.

Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna confirmed to The World Game that the club will not be re-signing Sheppard.

The Englishman joined the Hunter outfit in 2018 from NPL Victoria side Avondale. The forward has scored five goals and notched four assists in 33 appearances for the Jets.

This season Sheppard has featured in just six games, with his first part of the 2019-2020 campaign blighted by injury.

The 26-year-old ruptured a ligament in his foot in pre-season in September against Sydney FC and was sidelined for nearly four months.

Sheppard returned to action in the 2-1 loss to Adelaide United, but has been overlooked for the past seven games under new coach Carl Robinson.

“My contract is expiring, I haven’t received an offer from Newcastle and therefore am considering all options, though it is naturally very difficult during these times,” he told The World Game.

Sheppard grew up in the UK and came through the academy of Leyton Orient. He played non-league football for the likes of Histon and Braintree Town before a move to Australia in 2014.

The striker made his name in the NPL with Heidelberg United, bagging 24 goals in just 49 games.

He had brief spell in Finland with SJK in 2017, before returning to Australia and scoring 20 goals in 26 appearances for Avondale and then linking with the Jets two years ago.