KRIS BOYD'S [GBP]20,000 donation to Kilmarnock's youth development fund means that the club have now successfully offset the [GBP]50,000 which was stripped from the budget amid sweeping cutbacks earlier this year. At the time of the cuts, supporters of the Rugby Park club were stirred into action and formed a "50 for the Future" fund-raising group to try and make up the shortfall.

Their efforts, combined with Boyd's decision to sacrifice half of his signing-on fee from the [GBP]400,000 switch to Rangers last week and plough it back into the Ayrshire club, means that the youth budget has been restored.

Boyd, who came through the youth ranks at Kilmarnock, made the gesture at half-time in the club's 2-1 victory against Dundee United on Boxing Day. "Between the money that '50 for the Future' have raised and Kris's donation, we have bridged the anticipated funding gap for the youth development scheme for this season, " said Michael Johnston, the Kilmarnock chairman.

"It's good to see fans pulling together and doing something positive for the future of the club, and it was also a mark of Kris' appreciation for all the club have done for him.

"He has been here through his teenage years and benefited from all the coaching, so he wanted to put something back into the club.

"It means he leaves on a high and will be even more revered. When people follow his exploits for the rest of his career, they will always remember that he was made in Kilmarnock."

Johnston also said that the club are moving closer to agreeing a contract extension with Jim Jefferies, the Kilmarnock manager, and his assistant, Billy Brown. "I am expecting to have a meeting with them this week to try and finalise some things, " he said. "They are contracted until May 2007, but this offer is to the end of season 2008-09 on improved financial terms. I'm optimistic about it."

Kilmarnock's late victory over Dundee United on Monday lifted them above Rangers into fourth place again in the Bank of Scotland Premierleague. The 5749 attendance, on a cold Boxing Day afternoon, was also an indicator that crowds are gradually on the rise at Rugby Park.

"I think we had around 500 or 600 more home fans than usual, which is great, " said Johnston. "Hopefully, the message is getting through that we are playing attractive football and scoring lots of goals."

Jefferies has challenged his throng of strikers to fill the gap left by the departed Boyd. Colin Nish deputised for the 22-year-old and Steven Naismith won the man-of-thematch award for a composed display.

Gary Wales staked his claim with a last-minute winner against United after coming on as a second-half substitute for Stevie Murray.

The former Hearts striker has suffered injury problems in recent years but is ready to prove to Jefferies that he deserves a regular starting slot. He said: "First and foremost, the important thing is that Kilmarnock do well. Where the goals come from doesn't matter. It was up to us to show that there is life after Kris Boyd."