The Meggetland-based outfit currently occupy second in SWPL 2 with just two games to spare, a point better off than Glasgow Girls, who have played a game fewer. The two clubs do, however, meet on the final day of the season next month in what could be a winner-takes-all clash.
Shepherd's side host undefeated champions Dundee United at Meggetland on Sunday (2pm) and are hoping to join the Terrors as one of the two clubs promoted to a new 12-team top tier from next season. The women's top league will also come under the governance of the SPFL in an ambitious move to make the elite game more professional.
The former Spartans boss says promotion wasn't even discussed before a ball was kicked in September.
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"To be honest we certainly did not expect to be in the position we are," Shepherd explained. "If you look at the table just before Christmas, I think we were ten or 12 points adrift, but we've just hit a good bit of form and other teams in and around us have slipped up. So, we find ourselves sitting in second, albeit Glasgow Girls do have a game in hand. It could very well go to the last day of the season, but we're trying not to get too carried away. We've got two very tough games starting on Sunday.
"This is only our second season in SWPL 2 and last season was cut short so we have to be realistic. Even to finish third would be some achievement and that's huge credit to the players and the coaches in and around the first team.
"We've had injuries and Covid issues over the last few weeks so we've had to call upon the under-19s. There's a real excitement about the club in what we have a chance to achieve over the next few weeks."
Shepherd added: "Dundee United may have already won the league but they are unbeaten this season so I am sure they will be determined to maintain that record. We are well aware that it is going to be an extremely hard, physical game."