THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Arjen Robben has been made captain of the Netherlands in Danny Blind's first squad since taking over from Guus Hiddink as national coach, replacing striker Robin van Persie.

Blind said Friday he needs a captain with more on-field presence as his team heads into two crucial European Championship qualifiers against Group A leader Iceland and Turkey.

Blind, who replaced Hiddink last month after the veteran trainer's contract was terminated following a disappointing start to the Netherlands' qualification campaign, gave two teenaged Ajax defenders, Jairo Riedewald and Kenny Tete, debuts in the national squad.

The Netherlands is third in qualifying Group A, five points adrift of Iceland and three points behind the Czech Republic.

The Dutch take on Iceland on Thursday at the Amsterdam Arena and travel to Turkey for Sunday's game in Konya.


Netherlands squad:

GK: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord) and Jeroen Zoet (PSV)


D: Gregory van der Wiel (PSG), Bruno Martins Indi (Porto), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Jeffrey Bruma (PSV), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Terrence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax), Kenny Tete (Ajax) and Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)


MF: Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Nigel de Jong (Milan), Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City), Jermain Lens (Sunderland), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle), Memphis Depay (Manchester United), Luciano Narsingh (PSV), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Vurnon Anita (Newcastle), Davy Claasen (Ajax) and Marco van Ginkel (Stoke City)


FW: Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Luuk de Jong (PSV) and Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)